You’ve got to hand it to Anthony Gonzalez, the visionary behind French outfit M83, he pulls off the whole “shoegaze that accidentally slipped into the discotheque” thing quite well. Opening Sunday night’s sold out Stubb’s show with “Reunion,” a buoyant track off the group’s excellent 2011 release, “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming,” was a good set up for the inevitable segue into “Do It, Try It” the lead single from the new album “Junk.”
Gonzalez says the new album is about reaching backward to the past, and the bright keyboards on “Do It, Try It” bubble with an Atari-like wonder. But the new songs, with their sexy sax solos and futzy electronic keyboard blats and “Tron”-like throwback vibes had a tenancy to veer perilously close to corny.
Same as it ever was, the band’s greatest skill is stirring emotion through lyrically minimalist and sonically impressionist layered swells of sound. “We Own the Sky” with its soaring melodies, underpinned with a pulsing beat, provoked the broad-shouldered dude standing in front of me filming on his cell phone to spontaneously shoot his free hand upward, pointing one finger triumphantly to the sky. With the stage bathed in watery ripples of blue light pierced by half a dozen or so sharp beams, “Wait” radiated with sublime beauty.
M83 shows are always journeys through Gonzalez’ psychic dreamscape and all in all, the packed house seemed satisfied with the tightly structured hour and fifteen minute set, even if there were a few odd turns along the way.