By Sarah Jamieson
October 24, 2016
VANCOUVER — If you were at M83’s show at the Vogue Theatre, you would have never guessed it was a Monday. The crowd, rowdy at the start, was frenzied by the end. M83’s mesmerizing light show, epic soundscapes and building crescendos gave them an unforgettable night. Backlit and head bowed, lead singer Anthony Gonzalez started the concert in a mystic tableau before the first few notes of “Reunion” rang out. As the song built, the light show burst into pinball-like intensity, flooding the stage with rainbow lights that resembled blinking sprinkles.
Although the tour is to promote their new album, Junk, M83 performed a great deal of tracks from their other work including the Grammy-nominated album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. M83 performed a lot of well-loved classics, including “Intro,” “Steve McQueen,” and “Midnight City.” For “Midnight City,” the stage changed to a backdrop of twinkling stars. Dots of light flitted around the stage and the crowd pumped their fists in unison to the song’s slow, burning intensity before an electrifying finish. There wasn’t much banter from the band, but M83 had a strong connection with the audience – especially during upbeat tracks like “Do It, Try It” and “Sitting.” Notably, Jordan Lawlor’s drum solo was a delight. Circling and beating his synth drum with fervent intensity, he eventually lobbed his drumstick to an elated crowd.
If anyone had doubts about how M83’s new album would play live, it was quickly dismissed. Songs from Junk were all well received. The audience especially loved Joe Berry’s jazz-laced saxophone in “Road Blaster,” Mai Lan’s strong audience presence in “Go!” and “Laser Gun,” and Kaela Sinclair’s magnetism in “Oblivion” and “We Own the Sky.” As if to signal the end of the mystic journey, the band closed with “Lower Your Eyelids to Die with the Sun,” a beautiful, magical piece that encompasses M83’s electronic dream-pop style and rich instrumental stretches.
It’s safe to say that Vancouver will want M83 back again soon – and if it’s on the weekend, even better.BC, British Columbia, M83, Vogue Theatre