Concert Review: M83@Empty Bottle 9/16
Theoretically, M83 should be my favorite new band...(at least according the music press). The universal description for this French duo is that they are a cross between Air and My Bloody Valentine. I absolutely love Air and I've always enjoyed cranking up MBV really loud on the stereo. M83 is also on a record label that I like, Mute, and their North American tour is sponsored by one of my favorite radio stations, KEXP.org. Of course, you can't always believe the hype and usually when a new band is described as "the next _(insert your favorite band here)_," they are usually a big let down. The M83 show was another fine example of this. The show started off with a decent build of synths, and a tasty dose of drone-y, heavily distorted guitar. I thought this was just an intro...but then the music just ended. Then another song started with the same result...a melodramatic crescendo, some synth and guitar jamming at the middle and an anticlimactic end. OK guys, you've demonstrated your jamming ability and you've got some really cool fuzz boxes...now how about a song or two? Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much more in M83's repertoire. Even from a "jamming" standpoint, nothing really came across as extraordinary. There was certainly nothing special about the guitar playing and the synth parts were even less impressive. Most of the atmospheric electronic elements weren't even done live...they were pre-recorded and sounded really stale when mixed in with the live elements. The bass player happily danced in place during most of the show, and the lead guitarist/synth guy was really trying to evoke a sense of emotion, but I wasn't feelin' it. They seem to have received a lot of positive hype and acclaim from the music press, so maybe it's just me?? Maybe they just don't cut it live? Regardless, I'm not going to throw out my 180-gram Loveless reissue anytime soon.