M83 @ House of Blues, Dallas, TX

Words and photos by Scott Rowe
Where do I begin with M83 in Dallas? I was super excited to be approved for this show, as it has been the first approval for me for M83 in Dallas since 2012. The back-to-back nights at the Granada Theater back in 2012 were legendary shows in my opinion. Touring off of their then-recently released album, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, M83 were absolutely exploding off of their critically-acclaimed album and showcased their ability to top their studio tracks with unbridled energy, which isn't always the easiest to do as a synth/dream-pop band. I've seen bands who use electronic and analog equipment fail in recreating their studio sound and therefore fail one of my typical requirements for a good live band. But my experience at the Granada that evening in May (nearly 11 years prior to this show) left a lasting impression on me and it continues to be, not only one of my favorite shows in the DFW, but in my lifetime. Period.

After that show, I had tried multiple times to get approval for M83 but those attempts fell flat, as previous Dallas resident, Kaela Sinclair, had joined M83 as part of their touring band in 2016 after Morgan Kibby pursued a solo career. Following Sinclair's addition to Anthony Gonzalez's brainchild, the excitement for any DFW show skyrocketed, which has left me in the dust for the better part of 11 years. Kaela continues to be a part of M83's live crew, even contributing to vocals, arrangements, and writing credits to the band's latest two albums, including the album the band is currently touring off of, Fantasy.

Silly me, I was hoping for a recreation of 2012's show at the Granada, having a hodgepodge of tracks from their entire catalog, but I was understandably mistaken. The bulk of the setlist leaned heavily upon Fantasy, performing 10 of the album's 13 tracks and making up half of the setlist's songs (20). As with any band with a larger catalog, I definitely like the greatest hits setlists, but I was pleasantly surprised with Fantasy's songs live, especially the song with the same namesake and my personal favorite, "Us and the Rest". "Us" gives me the grandiose, bombastic sounds of yesteryear that was evident with "Intro" and "My Tears are Becoming the Sea", which immediately makes me think of M83. The show was a lot of fun, especially having missed the band perform live for over a decade but again, selfishly, wished they would have included "Couleurs" but even without what I would consider their best live song, any time the band performs "Midnight City", you're in for a treat. Despite this show not topping their show at Granada, I was still more than satisfied with their performance and hopefully I don't have to wait another decade before seeing them again.

Photos of the show are below:

M83 @ House of Blues, Dallas, TX M83 @ House of Blues, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on April 18, 2023 Rating: 5
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