M83 at The Pageant, 5/2/2012: Review, Photos and Setlist

Categories: Reviews

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Todd Owyoung
M83 | I Break Horses
The Pageant
May 2, 2012

The crowd at the M83 show last night was ecclectic. Girls wearing their best Forever 21 skirts, middle aged men and women sprinkled in the balcony and a parade of bros, hipsters and people looking generally out of place. That's what happens when there is a breaking band on the stage. M83 is on the cusp of mainstream success. With a gutsy, critically acclaimed double album, 2011's Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, a song featured in a Victoria's Secret commercial and a string of high-profile festival gigs, the band is only getting bigger.

View a full slideshow of M83 at the Pageant.

Not that it's small now. The sold-out crowd looked oddly sparse until the band snuck on stage to play its first song, "Intro" off Hurry Up. Even without the extraterrestial vocals of Zola Jesus's Nika Danilova, the track delivered goose-bumps like a winter morning. The crowd responded by cramming tight to the stage. The woman in front of me was so close that I had to keep brushing her well-conditioned locks off my notebook.

As with many shows featuring a band with such a rapidly expanding fan base, the crowd was tepid, only really roaring and dancing along to "Midnight City" and "Couleurs" off Saturdays = Youth -- the second track of the two-song encore. When the band played a song like "Steve McQueen" the crowd seemed lost.

The band, too, was somewhat hit and miss. The biggest hit was multi-intrumentalist Jordan Lawlor. He is an absolute joy to watch and a rare presence on stage. When he stood on the bass drum during "Couleurs" and began asking everyone to clap, it became clear that he was more capable of leading a band himself. When lead singer/guitarist Anthony Gonzalez turned towards him, with a nonplussed look on his face, the blond Lawlor replied by stretching his arms out, giving a shug, and mouthing "Why not?" before commanding the crowd to clap in unison. And when he freed himself from his bass duties to play next to vocalist/keyboardist Morgan Kibby during "Sitting", the night's most rave frindly song, I couldn't take my eyes off him. For someone who intones with a shrug, Lawlor was in charge whenever he made his presence known. Unlike Gonzalez, who is the mastermind of M83, Lawlor took full advantage of the vast Pageant stage and stalked the room during "Sitting" and "Fall" -- a Daft Punk cover.

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Todd Owyoung
Meanwhile, Anthony's rhythmless gyrations did not escape his synth, or Kibby later on in the night. He possesses none of Lawlor's hypnotizing nonchalance. This is the rare ensemble where other members of the band generate a bigger response than the frontman. The prize for the largest applause goes to the band's sax player. He came out on the stage, during "Midnight City" and "Couleurs" to evoke a vision of The Lost Boys boardwalk concert, and leave so suddenly that his presence felt like a mirage.

Location Info

Map

The Pageant

6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music


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15 comments
Jacob Goff
Jacob Goff

Slating Anthony Gonzalez for letting the other members of his band stand out as the incredible musicians they are is a ridiculous thing to write in a review. The lead shone as much as Kibby and Lawlor, his vocals on Wait and Reunion especially. If it had been a one man show as this reviewer it seems would have preferred, the band and the music would be lost and he'd be complaining about how bland the showmanship was.

Mike Rengel
Mike Rengel

Not trying to be a jerk, but I'm pretty sure the M83 show I saw at the Pageant was the polar opposite of the one this reviewer saw. I saw an enthusiastic crowd watching a band that brought an explosive "A game".

Jeff
Jeff

I thought it was great.  It was the perfect combination of a rave and an awesome rock show.  Sitting and Couleurs were defintely the two highlights of the night.  they were also the song's with Jordan's sweet cowbell playing/dancing.  Coincidence?  OK, maybe just a correlation...

Midnight City seemed to drag a bit, but that may have been the sequencing of the set.

The room mix at the beginning of the set was a little bass heavy, to the point it was drownign out relevant and important synth and guitar parts.  The cybals on the drums were earsplittingly trebley. 

Overall, it was a great show.  i couldn't help but thinking that they would be an even better band to end out a night at LouFest instead of GirlTalk...

Oh
Oh

Funny to see so much about Jordan, since he just joined the band. He was chosen based on a 2 minute YouTube video audition.

Tim
Tim

Bros like this band?  It's over.

RudyRay
RudyRay

Boring?? Seriously!??! What show were you at.  I found M83 to be absolutely electrifying.  At times it was breathtakingly beautiful, at other times it was a righteous dance party, and often times both.  The lighting/stage effects were also amazing.

And I'm not even that big of a fan nor am I familiar w/ their catalog. Yet I found every single song they played to be moving and engaging.  There were no slow spots at all, it was just pure awesome all the way through.

I feel bad for anyone who missed this show, it's as good as you're gonna get at the Pageant.

Tanner Martin
Tanner Martin

Where I was even in the drinking tables section 90% of the people were packed and standing and dancing! The show was incredible, from start to finish. Even the bro looking dudes started dancing half way through the show even if they had no clue what the songs were. Not sure about this review. Also M83 is nothing like Muse or Coldplay.... Where did this come from?

Anonymous
Anonymous

This was a really badly written review. The person who wrote it didn't seem to know a lot about the band (compared it to Muse and Coldplay???), didn't seem to know who the ban members were, and looks to only be familiar with Midnight City. I don't mind lukewarm concert reviews (in fact not all concert reviews should be gushingly positive) but the reviewer spends more time talking about the crowd and audience rather than the music itself. Sorry RFT.

K_p_p_c
K_p_p_c

Morgan Kibby, not Libby. And Jordan Lawlor, not Yann. Where's your editor?

dralexp
dralexp

Also, the guitar player is Jordan Lawlor, not Yann Gonzalez.

one guy's opin
one guy's opin

The last song before the encore after Midnight City was A Guitar and a Heart. Also, I feel like the person who wrote the review only started becoming familiar with the band through the newest album.

Guest
Guest

Shit review. Good writing but totally off point.

Jeff
Jeff

The attention given to him is deserved.  He was a hoot to watch.

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