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M83 returns to Dallas with energetic sold-out show

Posted 10:06am on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012

When M83 -- aka Frenchman Anthony Gonzalez -- last came through Dallas for two nights at the Granada in May, the hit single Midnight City was just starting to make a big impression on mainstream pop fans. Five months later, M83 is no longer some obscure guy from the south of France crafting shimmering dream pop but a verifiable star who is now scoring the next Tom Cruise film, Oblivion, and counts Katy Perry as a big fan.

So it was no surprise that he was greeted by a packed Palladium Ballroom Thursday night for what was essentially the same set he brought to the Granada. It’s still impressive though how he transforms what on disc is ethereal into something more energetic on stage -- without destroying what made the music so transporting in the first place.

That’s due in large part to Gonzalez, who comes across as warm and personable even though you might expect him to be more shy and retiring based on his music. Then there’s also his extremely tight backing band, including powerhouse drummer Loic Maurin, keyboardist/singer Morgan Kibby, and sax player Ian Young who adds that shot of jazzy warmth to Midnight City. Whether it was the soaring rock-and-roll grace of Teen Angst or the electro dance grooves of Couleurs, M83 made his songs come alive.

The one thing that has changed since that Granada show is that there seemed to be a larger percentage of the sold-out crowd mostly there to hear Midnight City and the follow-up, Reunion. During the quieter moments, like the epic Wait, the mood was hijacked by the low roar of conversation.

Sigh. Perhaps that’s the price to be paid for crossover success.

Here's M83 performing Midnight City at a Seattle concert

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