Oh, that tricky Anthony Gonzalez and his French band of electro-misfits M83.
When everyone thinks you’re going to end your Friday-evening show at Lollapalooza’s Sony stage with your breakout hit of last year’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, you throw it in with two more songs to go.
We’re talking about “Midnight City,” a tune that is impossible not to like, despite the fact that it’s also impossible to get it out of one’s head.
M83 brought down the house – or backyard, as it were in Chicago’s Grant Park – with “Midnight City” and its epic saxophone solo closer.
In reality, M83 had been doing that all night, though.
The crowd was packed to the gills, waiting with anticipation as Gonzalez and Co. strode out from backstage as the sun went down.
The infectious “Reunion” came early, marking a stirring start to the show. The soccer-chant refrain of “Reunion” could be just as at home on the pitch as it is at a music festival.
The percussive bombast of “Year One, One UFO” took that energy to another level.
Keyboardist Morgan Kiby took the vocal reins on the next song, “We Own the Sky,” showing the diverse musical talents of a band that has Gonzalez and his guitarist switching guitars and basses on nearly every offering.
Once night fell, M83 really hit their mark.
Their Tron-like synths and ethereal vocal stylings are perfect when the sky is black and the band can fill the atmosphere with fog to let their purple and red spotlights cut through the darkness along with the beat.
Fitting, perhaps, that M83’s cover of Daft Punk’s “Fall” – yes, from the movie Tron: Legacy – was so well received.
The instrumental is perfect to pair with blinking strobes and neon colors.
We’ve already written about “Midnight City,” so fast-forward to the finale, two disco party digital jammers – “A Party and a Heart” and “Couleurs” – that sent the audience off to their headliner of choice with a solid beat in their hearts and one heck of a lightshow going off in their heads.