m83 live in dallas

(photo dallas observer)

Because it was the end of this leg of M83‘s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming tour — and because Saturday night’s show at Granada Theater sold out in a heartbeat — Dallas was treated to a rare encore performance. Last night, another arguably over-capacity crowd eagerly awaited the second show amidst the buzz that still lingered from the night before. Having first been exposed to M83 with 2005’s Before The Dawn Heals Us, I was amazed at the crossover appeal of this onetime niche synthpop/shoegaze act from France.

Certainly a large number of the crowd were there to see breakout single “Midnight City,” but credit to Anthony Gonzalez and the economical but energetic trio behind him, there was no pandering to the casual fan. Extended acid-tinged shoegaze jams like “Sitting” and set-closing “Couleurs” tested the crowd’s devotion, and at every turn they responded.

The rapturous response moved Gonzalez to tears, literally, several times. I’m sure the emotion of ending a tour had something to do with it, but when the roof nearly came off during the “Midnight City” sax solo you felt the night was something special:

Morgan Kibby’s undulating keyboard playing, multi-instrumentalist Jordan Lawlor’s “running man” cowbell, and the thundering live drums of Loïc Maurin added spectacle and emotion to an extensively tracked live show. It’s always a question when you see an electronic band in concert — just how much are they actually playing? It’s a testament to M83’s showmanship and the power of Gonzalez’s songs that on this night, absolutely no one cared.

Set list via Granada Theater:


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