M83 teamed up with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra for a unique performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles on Saturday night (March 7).
The sold-out show kicked off with an electronic set by M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez, who took the stage alone surrounded by keyboards, synthesisers and other electronic equipment. Gonzalez did not say a word throughout the night, and the rapt audience remained silent as his electronic soundscapes filled the Hall, breaking the silence only to cheer loudly between songs.
Gonzalez, whose band recently toured with The Killers and Kings Of Leon, performed three ambient songs by himself, dancing and knob-twiddling before the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra took the stage.
The Orchestra, conducted by Julian Kuerti, then performed two classical pieces: Arvo Pärt’s ‘Fratres’ and Claude Debussy’s ‘La Mer’, which Gonzalez and Kuerti selected together. The dark, haunting nature of ‘Fratres’ and the dramatic intensity of ‘La Mer’ sat surprisingly well alongside M83‘s music.
For the final segment of the show, M83 teamed up with the Philharmonic Orchestra to perform five songs, including M83‘s remix of Bloc Party‘s ‘Pioneers’, which featured a unique orchestral arrangement while Gonzalez manned the keyboards and computer to deliver samples of Bloc Party frontman Keke Okereke‘s voice.
Gonzalez refrained from playing songs from his popular recent album ‘Saturdays=Youth’, choosing to focus instead on more orchestral pieces.
“We’ll play tracks that are more like orchestral material — mostly songs from my previous albums, for example ‘Before The Dawn Heals Us’, because I don’t think it’s really interesting to play pop songs with the orchestra,” Gonzalez told NME.COM before the show.
Gonzalez and the orchestra were joined by a 10-piece female choir and M83 members Morgan Kibby and Loic Maurin. They concluded with a rousing performance of ‘Lower Your Eyelids To Die With the Sun’ on which Kibby sang vocals accompanied by the choir and full orchestra.
The setlist was:
‘Fratres’ (Arvo Pärt)
‘La Mer’ (Claude Debussy)
‘The Highest Journey’
‘Pioneer’ (Bloc Party remix)
‘In The Cold I’m Standing’
‘Lower Your Eyelids To Die With the Sun’
–By our Los Angeles staff.