The lighting bathing the summerstage was gorgeous and M83, still using their immensely successful breakthrough album, and not a little wonderful, Hurry Up I'm Dreaming, as the heart of the set, claimed, and really proved,they were "very, very, very looking forward to being here tonight" in their best Alyson Camus impression.
So how could the techno pop band go wrong?
Let's start with the wait between sets being a ridiculous 50 minutes, This is Summerstage which means there is a strict curfew, if M83 are so very very, you would think they'd play an extra long set. How can they if they won't get on damn stage. The result was a 15 song set -cutting at least one number from what they usually play.
But starting off by having an impatient audience isn't gonna help a set THAT MUCH. What will is a sort of uncertainty as to what you are. M83 are a prog-rock techno band but they are perceived as an LCD Soundsystem like fusion band and they can't pull it off.
For every "Intro" there is a "Teen Angst".
And while Anthony Gonzalez and his band, which includes an orchestra (I think that's a guy with a baton) , are in constant movememnt, they are in constant shadowy movement. It is too dark, I can't see anything. Just blinding lights and a guitarist buckling under.
I love Dreaming, one of my fave albums of last year. But now I think it is a case of really only paying attention to the big hits, because a lot of this is soundscaping, and the earlier stuff really is soundscaping, and it is so hard to sell that.
Man do they try.
This is yeoman work but to no real end. It is so great in concept but somewhere it gets lost on stage. Why is nobody dancing? BECAUSE IT ISN'T DANCE MUSIC. M83 are selling themselves the wrong way, they don't have a handle on how to really get the job done: they are revving up their engines, but they don't play that sort of music.