Breaking the traditional rules of setlist arrangement, M83’s Anthony Gonzalez didn’t save his big hit for the end of the show at the Fillmore Sunday night. “Midnight City,” the crossover success on alternative and mainstream charts was burned about two-thirds of the way through.
Nor was M83’s previous hit, 2008’s “Kim and Jessie” anywhere in the set. Gonzalez must have figured that his electro-shoegaze rock band’s other new material was strong enough to carry the show. And he was right.
Coming off two performances at Coachella and beginning a new tour, in support of 2011 double-album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, Gonzalez and band mates Morgan Kibby, drummer Loïc Maurin and multi-instrumentalist Yann Gonzalez (Anthony’s brother) commanded the attention of all in attendance for the entire performance.
M83 took to the stage following an appearance by the creature from the new album’s cover (what it is exactly, I wasn’t sure). The backdrop consisted of LED beams arranged at odd angles and hundreds of flickering lights against a black background. This created the illusion of an alien, or dream, landscape. The décor fit the mood of an album about dreams smoothly.
Following “Intro,” the first track off Hurry Up…, Gonzalez deftly wove through songs predominantly from the new album, 2008’s Saturdays=Youth, and a couple of deeper cuts. Switching between the bass, guitar and synths, Anthony Gonzales and Co. kept the flow going and rarely paused to catch their breaths. By the time the band reached “Midnight City,” it was clear that the other new songs like “Reunion,” “Year One, One UFO,” “Steve McQueen” and “Wait” were enough to carry the night.
Opening for M83 was Swedish electronic and shoegaze band I Break Horses. Led by the Zola Jesus-esque Maria Lindénis, the group is in thee midst of its first tour of the United States.