Reviewed by Martin de Leon II, Fri., Sept. 30, 2005
Zilker Park, Sept. 25
Laptops are never a festival's friend and France's M83 knew that. Anthony Gonzalez, a full band behind him, warmed the crowd even more with 10 songs of lush instrumentation. Despite the billion-degree sizzle, a decent-sized crowd still came out to hear sweaty synthesizers. More of a softer Sonic Youth than a computerized beat-machine, M83 opened with "Moonchild," which was given a new coat of paint through thrusty basswork, lustful drumming, and guitar dynamics. Similarly, "Don't Save Us From the Flames" found the smallish Frenchman singing in a shiny way, sounding almost sampled. Though certain atmospherics were suited for a small club, the ambitious "America" worked brilliantly live, as did other gems from their Dead Cities, Lost Ghosts album. Sun pounded down as the bright sounds of M83 kept on with nameless forays into guitar feedback. Between songs, the quiet frontman thanked the people, "Merci beaucoup." Like Air with better ideas, M83 always sounds big, and in the Texas heat for an hour their beautiful, airy compositions were ideal. They didn't forget to rock out either.