M83 at the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, CA | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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M83, Phantogram

M83 at the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, CA, September 22nd, 2013

Sep 25, 2013 M83 Photography by Laura Studarus Bookmark and Share

On Sunday night, M83 made their Hollywood Bowl debut to a sold-out house. Although there was a full orchestra onstage, the quartet (with an assist from producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen) essentially rendered the string section a moot point with their walls of synth. But then again, that’s is why we love them, isn’t it?

Ostensibly a last hurrah for their 2011 album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, the band mixed a fair amount of material from previous releases into the set. Most notable among them was “Skin of the Night,” and “We Own the Sky,” both which allowed vocalist/keyboardist Morgan Kibby (who frontman Anthony Gonzalez introduced as “my sister”) a chance to show off her confident, crystalline vocals.

The night also featured a string of surprise guests. Brad Laner, of the recently reunited band Medicine, dropped into duet with Kibby on slow burner, “Wait.” And Susanne Sundfør brought an icy perfection to “Oblivion,” a cut from the Tom Cruise film of the same name. (Did we really need to see clips from the movie during the performance? No. Sundfør was more than capable of holding her own.)

But every member of the band was happily upstaged by the night’s most popular surprise guest: Zelly Meldal-Johnsen. The eight-year-old daughter of Justin Meldal-Johnsen gleefully performed Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming’s “Raconte Moi Une Histoire” before leaping around the stage like the frog in her story. Cue: melting hearts all the way from the box seats to nosebleed.

However, the biggest moment of the night was reserved for the band’s Grammy nominated single “Midnight City.” With the help of saxophonist Ian Young, the band had the venue on its feet bobbing and swaying with a religious fervor. The city is their church? On the last show of their promotion cycle, M83 managed to bring some truth to that lyric.

Opening for M83 was Phantogram. Although clearly nervous (and frankly, who could blame them) the Saratoga Springs, New York-based duo Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel hit their stride by mid-set. Their forthcoming sophomore full-length promises to expand on their dark, electro-pop sound. (“Celebrating Nothing” in particular took advantage of the Bowl’s extraordinary sound.) It seems certain that the duo walked away from the performance with a few additional fans.

Setlist Phantogram:

1. Nothing But Trouble

2. 16 Years

3. Mouthful of Diamonds

4. Blackout Days

5. As Far As I Can See

6. Turning Into Stone

7. Celebrating Nothing

8. Don’t Move

9. The Day You Died

10. When I’m Small

Setlist M83:

1. In the Cold I’m Standing

2. Intro

3. Reunion

4. Sitting

5. We Own the Sky

6. Steve McQueen

7. Moonchild

8. Splendor (with Brad Laner)

9. Wait

10. Raconte Moi Une Historie (with Zelly Meldal-Johnsen)

11. Skin of the Night

12 Midnight City

13. Lower Your Eyelids to Die With the Sun


14. Oblivon (with Susanne Sundfor)

15. Outro

16. Couleurs

Check out a full gallery of photos from the evening here.




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September 28th 2013

You’re wrong about Laner’s song.  It was Splendor, not Wait.  Duh.

December 13th 2013

See fan photos and videos of this concert by M83 at the Hollywood Bowl on wesawit: http://wesawit.com/app/event/520d7b499e3ec