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M83 - Granada Theater - 5/20/12

Photo by Drew Gaines.
Photo by Drew Gaines.

M83
Granada Theater
Sunday, May 20

There was a lot of walking involved to see M83 perform their second show of a two-night stand at the Granada Theater. A long walk from the distant parking space. A long walk around the venue trying to find a place to stand (nearly impossible). A walk to the merchandise table to pick up a set of flashing neon sunglasses the Granada was hawking.

Ideally, M83 should not have played this venue. The Granada was an excruciatingly difficult place to navigate last night, and I'm sure the same could be said for Saturday's performance. Nobody cared, though. People at the show felt lucky to see such a massive band at a smaller venue, and it's evidence of one of the best booking streaks the Granada has ever had.

Fans came to see the French act, led by Anthony Gonzalez, perform songs from their much loved 2011 double album, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. But what they got was so much more.

That the roof and walls of the Granada are still intact is a testament to the theater's architectural design. From the street, there must have been steam billowing from the venue's seems. And inside, one of the most elaborate light shows ever assembled on the Granada stage served as a backdrop to the surprisingly energetic band.

It was my first time seeing M83, and incidentally, it was the last show of the tour. They looked exhausted, but fought it with ease. The thing that's interesting about M83's live show is that Gonzalez hasn't assembled a rock band as much as he's assembled a group of hype-people. The energy bounced from band member to audience and back. It was like watching four spark plugs push an engine into the red zone. And when the crowd seemed maxed, a sax man would jump out from hiding and lift the audience even higher.

After the show, social media outlets were clogged with quotes like "best show ever." For many in the audience, this will be a concert watermark. They'll talk about it for years. And next October, when the band comes back to the Palladium Ballroom on Thursday, October 11, people will say, "I remember seeing these guys at the Granada."

By the way: Denton's Botany opened up the show with a good but largely ignored set of trippy, electronic soundscapes.

Notebook dump: I didn't end up with a pair of those flashing neon sunglasses, but I wish I had.


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