Waves, sonic and visual, wash through the house engulfing all, bathing the sold out crowd with ferocity and fervor as Anthony Gonzalez conducts a show for all senses. The french born multi-instrumentalist, accompanied by some of his long time cohorts have brought a night of pleasure. Gonzalez expresses his wanting of us to join his journey into his fantasy world where we are invited to get lost in his story through songs that tell tales of distant lands, adventures and longing love affairs relating to his love of all things 80’s.
M83’s stage is a glow with neon, swarmed with pillows of smoke and visual accents of digital eyes watching over. The pairing of lights and sounds truly helped envelop the songs into a 3 dimensional space completing the painting Gonzalez created in the studio. The structure of tracks sweeps and retreats like the waves of the ocean. An almost spiritual experience that brought the masses to a collective swell with little cell phone interruptions completing a true fantasy effect.
This live backing band Gonzalez has amassed is one of the most solid musicians I’ve heard him bring together since attending shows since 2012. Most notably was Kaela Sinclair on keyboards and backing vocals. She was mesmerizing, gazing into the audience, nailing the vocals and playing the notes just right. He vocals paired with Gonzalez was a perfect play off each other complimenting without overpowering. Clement Libes stood out as well breaking through from behind the dark wall of lights and smoke challenging notes with Gonzalez front and center. Theophile Antolinos was heard but not seen as he tucked in deep stage left rear. Joe Berry filled in other synths completing M83’s complex and depth sounds while Julien Aoufi kept the beat for all to follow.
Throughout the set, we received a wealth of songs from the start to the latest album, ‘Fantasy’. Opening with the title track, “Water Deep” and the first half of the album “Ocean Niagra”, “Amnesia”, “Earth to Sea” and Us and the Rest” before mixing things up with classic tracks. Highlights for me are still hearing “We Own The Sky” and “Midnight City” and apparently the fans as well as their affection was heard loud and clear when these began. The night ended with “Outro” where Sinclair took center stage and played us out on the piano.