On May 4, Spanish-French electronic act M83 took the stage in front of a sold-out crowd at Chicago’s Riviera Theatre. Initially scheduled for The Vic Theatre, high-demand brought the show to the larger north side venue. Reaching mega stardom after the release of its third full-length, and newest, album—partially due to a spot in a Victoria Secret commercial—M83 will be spending the summer and fall touring internationally and hitting up summer festivals. Hint: Lollapalooza.
The night started off with the ambient “Intro” from Hurry Up We’re Dreaming, and a better song could not have been chosen. The lights dimmed as a backdrop twinkled like the audience was about to float through space. Spotlights twisted around The Riv’s antique interior. Founder and core member, Anthony Gonzalez’s vocals chimed in over engulfing reverb, and as the song hit its stride, the lights took over in an intergalactic trance.
We all entered another world for the next 90 minutes.
Gonzalez and crew made new and old fans happy. Although no tracks were played from 2007s Digital Shades, the set list included cuts from Saturdays=Youth and Daft Punk remix “Fall” from the Tron: Legacy Reconfigured soundtrack. Ambient bliss interludes like “We Own the Sky” spaciously danced around the hall, leading into pop-driven tunes like “Year One, One UFO” and “Steve McQueen.”
Beginning with a simple guitar lick and Gonzalez’s whispered vocals, “Wait” is a slow and steady climb. Concert goers took the high-energy break as a chance to chat with their friends or order another beer, but as the build-up grew and the instruments intensified, the crowd slipped into a trance once again.
After long-awaited anticipation, first single from Hurry Up We’re Dreaming‘s “Midnight City” synth intro chimed in and the lights did a choreographed dance. The crowd sung along and danced to the tune, but the performance wasn’t even the highlight of the night. It was tracks like “Wait,” “Intro” and “Fall” that stole the show.
M83 ended the night with “Skin of the Night” and “Colours,” both are tracks from Saturdays=Youth. The vibrant European electropop ended the night on a high note. As the group exited the stage, a sample of “Intro” brought the performance full circle.
The production value is an excuse in its own to catch an M83 live show. But Hurry Up We’re Dreaming is a perfect title to explain the performance. Lights flickered and surrounded the crowd, and the music engulfed the two-story venue with every intent to swallow it. It’s hard to believe anyone could have left the venue in a less than stellar mood.
See exclusive photos of M83 at The Riviera Theatre here.
M83 at The Riviera Theatre on May 4, 2012 set list
- “Teen Angst”
- “Graveyard Girl”
- “Year One, One UFO”
- “We Own the Sky”
- “Steve McQueen”
- “Fall” (Daft Punk cover)
- “The Bright Flash”
- “Midnight City”
- “A Guitar and a Heart”
- “Skin of the Night”