What Went Down: Urbanscapes ’16 Pres. M83 @ KL Live

M83 - Urbanscapes 2016 - DDY_5640 - Photo by © All Is Amazing

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Saturdays equal to youth noted French synth pop band M83, and it was on that day during the weekend did we all release ourselves from the listlessness and apathy of our descent into adulthood, and remember what it felt like during a segment of growing up that was blithe and unfettered by liabilities such as earning a living and paying the bills.

A clear digression aside, first off in a slew of wide-eyed anthems was ‘Reunion’ – with every power strum of the guitar, it sounded as if a portal were opening and from Anthony Gonzalez’s distant yells, we silently answered his lyrical question, “Will you stay in this land forever?” Swiftly after Junk’s lead single ‘Do It, Try It’, ‘Steve McQueen’ was the song for when you find yourself born again and believe that the oft-mentioned phrase “Everything is impossible” is stripped of its clichéd definition. Despite its plain title, ‘Intro’ mustn’t be overlooked. With Anthony fervently urging “Carry On! Carry On!” over a settled synth line and bird-like calls, complemented by keyboardist Kaela Sinclair’s verses and the eventual choral coda, all coming together to be quite affecting.

M83 - Urbanscapes 2016 - DDY_7948 - Photo by © All Is Amazing

Other than the transportive, wistful, and almost magical characteristics that have luckily afforded M83 passionate fans (the attendance was quaint in comparison to Tame Impala’s, though they were thoroughly invested fans), but with Junk, the band had forayed into pop songs that though have less emotional impact, yet they are still very infectious throwback ditties such as the aforementioned track, ‘Go!’, and ‘Road Blaster’. Like a calm before a storm, the calm came in the form of the simple, beautifully composed ballad ‘Wait’ and the metaphorical storm was in the raucous crowd eruption that ensued for the mega hit ‘Midnight City’. Yes, very pervasive as a single, but in the context of an arranged concert setlist, it became part of a larger communal experience that we were happy to have partook in. Also, a live saxophone solo was a much-welcomed crystalline instrumental element to the heavily synthesised set of the band.

M83 - Urbanscapes 2016 - DDY_5776 - Photo by © All Is Amazing

In the six-part encore, we particularly enjoyed the fantastic house-techno rarity ‘Couleurs’, where notably the very spirited multi-instrumentalist Jordan Lawlor wildly clanged and banged on his snare drum. And after the disconcerting children’s lullaby ‘For The Kids’, Jordan took on the role of singer for ‘Walkway Blues’ where his American accent brought us out of the bubble conjured by the Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming-laden set. Finally though, the enveloping ‘Lower Your Eyes To Die With The Sun’ was the closing song that signalled us back with bright pulses of light that broke through the deep purple serenity on stage.

Eruption of applause burst through the quiet and all five members of M83 lined themselves to the front of the stage and bowed to the audience. Even though their fans were giving thanks to them for a great show, they seemed to be genuinely grateful for their love and presence too.

M83 - Urbanscapes 2016 - DDY_5532 - Photo by © All Is Amazing

M83 - Urbanscapes 2016 - DDY_7937 - Photo by © All Is Amazing

M83 - Urbanscapes 2016 - PPS_6444 - Photo by © All Is Amazing

Urbanscapes ’16 Pres. M83 went down on Saturday 7 May ’16.