M83, Nottingham Trent FM Arena Live Review

Review of M83 live at Nottingham Trent FM Arena.


M83 are not on any UK road map, but on a highway of their own as they brought electro/guitar mystery to Nottingham last night.

Formed in 2001, M83 have an impressive back catalogue and history of live sets. Headed by a very enthusiastic Anthony Gonzalez, M83 appear to be a concoction of every music genre you can think of. It’s as if they were put together in a studio to do what they each do best, and then the best word I can come up with here is ‘synch’ their abilities to form something which appears to work. There is no way to pin this band down to a genre as the edges blur.

Described as electro shoegaze, I would certainly agree. But then there is the question of the pop, rave, 80’s and rock guitar elements. It is impossible to typecast here.

Filling a thirty minute set supporting Kings of Leon, I was also a little mystified about the placement of these bands together but this wasn’t a bad thing. Yes M83 are enthusiastic about their work, and Anthony Gonzalez steals the show with his keyboard and vocal harmonies. The excitement about his brainchild project comes through more than anything as he shows us some ‘unusual’ moves.

It’s no secret that electronic bands do not always work as a live set, especially within a large arena where it’s mesmerising sets that are needed. You can’t sing along, and members if the band seem to be in their own little world – you are almost disengaged. M83 did bash out some pleasing and creative tracks, but after a while you do become distanced. It was maybe the fact that one track blends into the next, creating one long monotony caused this.

Any lyrics were drowned in loud but clever instrumental noise. I guess it puts you in a sort of trance – the essence of a dose of shoegazing pop, but also trips you out a bit too much, therefore running the risk of becoming forgettable.

That said, M83 are a group of very talented artists. With vocal harmonies reminiscent of the current pop Alphabeat vibe, it’s easy to see why they have the following they do. It’s music I do enjoy listening to…but maybe more as an at home CD.

Laura Johnstone

Official Site - http://www.ilovem83.com