As the sun was setting on Tuesday Anthony Gonzalez, front man and genius behind M83, walked onto the stage at Red Rocks, and opened their set with one of their hits, “Reunion”. The crowd was instantly dancing and singing along, and if you’re at all familiar with M83’s music, you can safely assume that the rest of the evening continued that same way. Gonzalez is a wizard when it comes to synth-heavy, 80’s pop influenced songs that can make anyone bob their head along.
M83 has been on tour for most of 2016 and will continue to jump between the U.S. and Europe for the rest of the year, closing out this lengthly run in the city from which they hail: Paris,France at the end of November. Red Rocks was alive with synth “beeps”, “boops”, “pew-pews”, through songs like “Wait”, “We Own The Sky”, “Oblivion”, and fan favorite “Midnight City”, and tracks from the newly released album Junk. M83 managed to pair each individual track with an incredible light show all it’s own. The night started with lights hanging behind the band that changed colors along with the beat of the music, but as the set progressed on to slightly slower tracks, the lights continued to morph as well. Lights that appeared to simply be hanging suddenly started rotating and swirling - almost dancing along to the track. Once the synthy, etherial sounds gave way to dance beats once again, even more lights appeared, projecting onto the landmark red rocks behind the stage. Gonzalez paused a few times in between tracks with what appeared to be a look of awe as he examined the crowd and massive monoliths, adoring the beautiful amphitheatre and thanking his fans.
M83 ended their set with “Outro”, the last song from their 2011 album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. Gonzalez and crew stepped off the stage a mere one hour after beginning their set. While it felt like a short set, the troupe returned with an extended 5 song encore, appeasing the crowd as they continued to cheer for more.
-Words Matt Smith & Maddie Casey / Photos: Matt Smith