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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Friday, September 29

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Concert Sat Nov 19 2011

Review: M83 @ Lincoln Hall, 11/17

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M83 photos by Kirstie Shanley

There is a certain perfect energy when you see a band on the steady rise in popularity. They attack each set with a fierce and primal sense of urgency and passion, as their life and success is finally being recognized on a larger scale. Couple in the fact that the band is known for conjuring up nostalgia with their sound, and you've got a dance floor full of adults that are probably dreaming of a not so far off youth. M83 dosed out their version of a perfect past Thursday night to two sold out audiences at Lincoln Hall.

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This is a band that doesn't shy away from theatrics. A masked figure took to the dark stage (the mask taken from the album cover of their latest release, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming), it's arms high above the crowd before the band kicked on their lazer and light show and launched into the pulsating dueling synths of "Intro." If ever there was a band that clearly dreamt of soundtracking a John Hughes film, it's M83. Their catalog consist of numerous soundscapes of doldrum youth morphing into the optimistic sounds of a budding future. For example, "Kim & Jessie" has the sunny disposition of a lazy summer day that would sit perfect behind any commercial idea trying to sell us that emotion conjured up by the sound of a memory. And the slow burn of "We Own the Sky" perfectly encapsulates the tug in our chest when we yearn for someone missing in our life. The band's live arrangement showcased the sultry control of Morgan Kibby on vocals. Each airy breathless sound pushing into an almost jazz like wail reminded me of the effortless coy affection of Prince's "If I was Your Girlfriend."

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The band jumped around in range, from a folkish jam that bloomed into crashing layers of sound, to a softer almost hymnal type of song that made the room feel like midnight in a church on Christmas Eve. Yet one constant was the fact that no matter how far the band would move the song on a spectrum of sound, each track would crescendo into an ambient pop explosion of light and sound. What would start slow would eventually rise and floor the audience, catching a groove and getting majority of the room moving along. The band ended their set with "Couleurs" off Saturdays = Youth, the track that personally made me fall in love with their live set at Pitchfork Festival in 2009. The song starts with such heavy synth tones before bursting into a shimmering dance track, the perfect track to end the night as the crowd and band both let loose. Anthony Gonzalez grabbed his body and danced along with the crowd, smile spread wide across his face. It's one of the small pleasures in life to be able to witness someone so happy in the current moment of their life. And M83 as a whole, hair whipping around and smiling along with an ecstatic crowd, are truly having that moment.

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steve / November 21, 2011 9:42 AM

best all around acoustic guitar sound I have heard in a while! Thanks for sharing.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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