photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
M83 at Central Park Summerstage - 8/8/12
Laser light shows, clouds of fog, thrashing guitars, an orchestra, and club bangers are just a few of the things seen on stage at M83's sold out Central Park Summerstage show last night (8/8). Like Animal Collective, who achieved a similar feat back in 2009, M83 spent about a decade as one of indie rock's most consistent bands, and when the release of 2011's arena-sized Hurry Up, We're Dreaming inevitably put M83 in arena-sized venues, they were more than ready for it. Main member Anthony Gonzalez really knows how to be a frontman, fulfilling the most classic definitions of the word (he does things like yell "NEW YORK!" in between songs). The band's light show is phenomenal, blending a glossy 80s aesthetic with a keen sense of futurism. They've got lasers, floodlights, spotlights, and four light-up panels on stage which shift in color and shape throughout the show. And every member of the band looks like they're having a great time on stage for the whole set. When members switch instruments, they don't simply walk over to their new position, instead they prefer to dance their way over. When a band has that massive a presence, it's hard to ignore them.
That said, I can't promise everyone in attendance felt the same. Unfortunate to admit, but the only song that really got the crowd going wild was "Midnight City," and I definitely felt the density of people lighten after that one ended. Summerstage's sound system wasn't quite loud enough for this one and it helped make it too possible to hear all of the talking going on during songs. The only other downside was that the band's set was way too short (just an over an hour), especially for a band with six studio albums and a 70+ minute double album as their breakthrough. But all road bumps aside, this was a great show and certainly one to remember. The setlist hit all the high points of Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, including "Intro," "Reunion," "Wait," and "Steve McQueen," and dipped into their back catalog as well, reaching as far back as their 2001 debut. At this point the band have both the potential and the right to play a "hits" set, but they continue to throw in instrumental tracks, which add to the flow of the show and promise that M83 might be dipping a foot in mainstream waters, but like all great crossover bands, they're also keeping one on the land where they started.
M83 will be back in NYC when their ongoing tour brings them here for two Hammerstein shows (10/2-3) and a Wellmont show (10/4) in October. All three of those shows are with Sun Airway.
Big Black Delta opened last night's show. More pictures of both bands and M83's setlist are below.
Big Black Delta
M83 Central Park Summerstage - 8/8/12 Setlist: (via)
Year One, One UFO
We Own The Sky
Fall (Daft Punk cover)
This Bright Flash
My Tears Are Becoming a Sea
A Guitar and a Heart
Skin of the Night