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Music

M83 Rocks Out, Politely

Posted by Olivier / November 19, 2008

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When someone whispered in my ear that French band M83 was “electropop”, I had certain expectations for their show last night at Studio Juste Pour Rire. Lots of synth, lots of keyboard, and lots of staring at computer screens. While these were all present, I was pleasantly surprised to find that M83 also has a healthy dose of live instrumentation, and, for lack of a better word, rocking out.

In fact, far from being an intense electronic experience, the first few songs played last night were an underwhelming mix of instrumental/electronic, and the crowd seemed to agree. Clapping was timid among the two hundred concertgoers at the smallish venue, and dancing was non-existent. But as the show went on, M83 picked up steam, and got the crowd moving with one of their best tracks, “Kim and Jessie”. Part of the positive shift in momentum over the course of the night has to be attributed to the politeness of the band. After every song, they would thank the crowd profusely. I’m not sure what we were being thanked for, but it worked- by the end of the night I was charmed and a convert to M83.

In addition to a keyboardist, and two guitarists who dabble in occasional unironic wailing lead lines straight out of anthem rock, the band features a bad-ass human (ie. non-electronic) drummer. This drummer was so fierce that he was placed behind a circular wall of plexi-glass, as if he couldn’t be trusted not to break free as he threw down cascading drums reminiscent of pure 80’s songs like the intro to Money for Nothing. There were a handful of truly epic pieces (like the encore, “Couleurs”) which utilize both the live instrumentation and ambient noises to build-up tension and then pop it, not unlike Sigur Ros except for a less patient audience.

As for the opener, School of Seven Bells, music editor Jeremy is going to kill me, because he specifically asked me to show up early, and I still missed them. I was at the venue by 8:40, but somehow their set was already over. M83 started at 9:00 (!), and was over by 10:20. This is another in a continuing series of electropop shows finishing way too early. I thought Hot Chip finishing just after 11:00 was bad, but this is a new low. Is electropop for old people?

Anyways, as a consolation to Jeremy and all those who were hoping to hear about School of Seven Bells, I offer this music video created by a ten year-old Montreal kid. Not as good, but I bet School of Seven Bells couldn’t have done this when they were ten.

Discussion

8 Comments

G / November 21, 2008 at 06:07 pm
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Recently, I was told that all major Montreal venues have unionized labour. Apparently they have to pay them double time if they stay there past 11 pm or something. Hence, the venue owners try to wrap up the shows as quickly as possible so they can save on labour expenditures. Which furthermore proves my theory that communism is bad. More communism = less rock!
Mukesh / February 4, 2015 at 04:44 am
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Wow what adorable cretaures you make! The owl is just so full of personality and my daughter and I think Florence is a nice name for her. Thanks for dropping by my blog - you're on my bloglines as well - I just love your work!
golu dolls / February 5, 2019 at 11:16 pm
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nice post
kanchipuramsarees / February 5, 2019 at 11:16 pm
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nice post
kanchipuramsarees / February 5, 2019 at 11:16 pm
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nice post
herbal powder / February 5, 2019 at 11:16 pm
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nice post

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