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Thursday, December 14

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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 »

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