M83 @ Neumos 11.13.11

November 12, 2011

For a Sunday night, Neumos is packed. And we're no t talkin, full, we're talking wall to wall sell out. And the funny thing is, it's the second sold out show of the night. After the release of M83's double disc opus "Hurry Up We're Dreaming", the already booked tour doubled in size as public response to the album was overwhelming (we ourselves fel l in love w/ first single Midnight City and haven't gone a week without giving it some facetime on Ultrasound since). Which with a chance to reach some of their largest crowds ever, explains why the band don't leave anything to the imagination, taking the stage armed to the teeth with modular syntns, strobes, LEDs, lighting rigs, lasers, a back drop of the night sky, they've done all the ground work for you, all you need to do is stand there and try not to blink and miss something. It's clear they're here to take you on a journey to somewhere, no place in specific, but more-so be the vehicle for wherever you want to be in the moment.

This has to be the most epic neumos has ever felt. As the band effortlessly glide through a well balanced set, kicking things off with the Zola Jesus featuring "Intro" from the new record before diving into old hits and crowd favs "Kim and Jesse" as well as "We Own The Sky" also making an early appearance in the set list. It strikes me while watching that M83 were one of my wandering discoveries back at my first Coachella in 2005, certainly nothing on the scale of this sort of production. Though I was super stoked on it even then, it's clear this is a band meant to be seem late at night, in a club. (I also remember thinking this when they played Sasquatch midday 2 years ago), something about atmospheric bands playing midday slots under blaring sun just...doesn't do it for me.

Tonights atmosphere only intensifies as the crowd gets more into it and the heat rises. A light fog running between heads from the stage, as the humidity in the room clocks in it 11, everyone dancing and sweating and forgetting in 12 hours they'll be back on earth, midday at the 9 to 5 somewhere, but none of it matters right now as we all submit to the sonic blanket covering us. The light show itself is extremely impressive for a club production, its an all put assault on your senses, not in the offensive crystal castles sort of way, more like flashes of the heavens as m83 pump out the soundtrack to space travel from the stage.

Anthony Gonzales hunches over a board of rack mounted modular synths warping soundscapes in the most epic of fashions as lasers outline his silhouette, and I finally figured it out. The twinkling backdrop makes you feel like you're outside even though it's 600 degrees in this place. Giving it a cinematic feel. It's literally taking you out of this room and into m83 land, which in my mind was some desert in the south west, on the edge of a cliff maybe. Perhaps I'm focusing too much on my own personal interpretation of the feeling, but that speaks volumes about the success of their intentions. The whole thing feels more like a musical or like I mentioned earlier. A soundtrack. It isn't about the songs themselves as much as the feeling they all create in sequence.

The whole place moves as they launch into midnight city, Gonzales himself dancing like crazy on stage. It doesn't seem like this is a room full of people super familiar with the deep catalogue material of M83's past work, but every not a single person in the building at any point looks bored or for that matter, even looks away from the stage. To be looking to hear certain tracks feels like it might be missing the point in the first place as the band clearly have it down to a science how to build to peaks and pull back to slow it down and create welcomed intensities before taking off again to whatever heights they can find. I can only Imagine this is the first of a few tours in support of this record, if you didn't make it out this time, don't make the same mistake twice.