AIR, La Zona Rosa, June 15

Live Shots

Air at La Zona Rosa
Air at La Zona Rosa (Photo By John Anderson)


La Zona Rosa, June 15

We are the synchronizers! We are electronic performers! BPM controls your heartbeats! And control they did. Franco-stylers Air exploded with the first track from their new 10,000 Hz Legend, "Electronic Performers," a track that served not only as manifesto and exposition, but as synchronization for the audience's collective lub-dub. The heart is programmed to respond to electronic impulses, after all, and this night, they fluttered in French. Sexy boy No. 1 was opener Sebastien Tellier, the first signee to Record Makers, Air's Astralwerks offshoot label. Tellier, who looked for all his grinning facial hair like Jesus H. Christ in tailored suit, sat in a circle of amps and gizmos, alone with his guitar as he crooned a blissfully short set of three, maybe four songs. Teller's gentle Robin Gibb tenor charmed the crowd, and at song's end, he eschewed applause with an oh-eet-wass-notheeeng wave of his hand. The audience would have loved more, but the set's brevity added another layer of charm if not confusion. When the main body of sexy boys took the stage, handsome and black-clad, confusion dissipated -- except the small bit reserved for J.B. Dunckel's wacky vampire cape. God, the men of Air are gorgeous, all certainly capable of queering the straightest of men and bringing out the heterosexual in some of us; Nic Godin's chiseled jaw and knowing gleam, Dunckel's boyish naughtiness, guest bassist and ex-Jellyfish Jason Falkner's Bon Jovial bright-eyed grin. But the visual -- laser rainbow lightshow notwithstanding -- was only half of it. The night ebbed and gushed with much new material, some of which is a hard, slow sell on disc, but which came alive onstage, brimming in all its hammy, glammy glory. New songs like "How Does It Make You Feel," "People in the City," "Radio #1," and the rump-shaking "Don't Be Light" preened and pranced with such Bowie/ Eno/Roxy giddiness that the achingly gentle fuck-me surge of the soothing and familiar, "J'ai Dormi Sous l'Eau," and "Le Solei est Pres de Moi" from the Premiers Symptomes EP, and Moon Safari's "Kelly Watch the Stars," seemed jarring in their sensual profundity. Nevertheless, Air made the sticky seams invisible, presenting movement after movement of simple elegance and complex Philip Glass-like composition. It was dreamtime come to life, as the music took over where the heart sometimes fails, urging us all to watch the stars.

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