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Festival Review: Heineken Open'er // Gdynia, Poland // 6 July 2012// Day 3: Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand, M83

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On to day 3. Here you start thinking that beer is your normal diet and can hardly get water down (jokes aside).

What a packed day. We warmed up with a quick run to catch Toro Y Moi at the Tent Stage (slightly disappointed) and then ran back to Bloc Party.

AND IS BLOC PARTY BACK. I caught this iconic band about 3 years ago just before they took their break (read Kele selfishly tried to go solo and had a bit of a flop). That day in Greece, after popping 3 pain killers as my wisdom’s decided to create mountains in my mouth, and braving the concert alone they won a place in my heart. And it’s good that that place was warmed up again after a long silence.

They are back and better than ever.  And the foursome has not changed. There’s of course Kele –

– who by far has the most powerful voice of the festival and just like Bon Iver – has a range of a demon. High, low and everywhere in between but all with the strength and confidence of a move trailer voice over. He has such a big mouth big lips and his vocal chords just resonate with might as he beautiful blurts out the sounds. And an incredible iconic and unique tone of voice.

There is Matt Tong the drummer. Who hit his drums so hard in the sun that he took off his shirt after a serious sweat session. He created just as much sweat on all of us as we jumped to his beats. Hands down the best drummer of the concert. INCREDIBLE skills. And then the two guitarist. Who were obviously born to create music. Who skills are beyond question. But who look as bored as if they were playing at an old age home. No emotion, no movements And you know what that’s fine. Kele and Matt have enough energy for 10 people.

They played songs from all their albums. I was also happy to hear a couple of new singles off their much awaited new album – and the good news is that even after one performance they sound freaking awesome. So can’t wait for that to come out (or the torrent to be leaked). They still didn’t play Kreuzberg (my fav) but I will just need to keep going to watch them till they do.

And then what may have been THE performance of the festival Franz Ferdinand. This was a SHOW. Franz Ferdinand, which my friend Sarah rightfully said looks like a child molester with a bad haircut, has (surprisingly) the confidence of a King. And even with his unattractive face being sprawled in the back drop behind him you can’t do anything else than respect him cause he pulls it off. The band just rocked. The energy was as high as the Heineken Star at the top of the stage and we all jammed away. FF’s songs are just made for a festival. The songs are powerful, original yet easy to listen and sing to and can’t help but get you on your feet. This music was made for jumping. And jump we did.

The lighting was also excellent – with beams resembling power lasers lighting up the sky and blaring from the stage. But the highlight of the performance was in no doubt the 4 minutes 4 way drumming mania. All four members of the stage attacked the drum kit for a full fledge mania. This was just an amazing build up and the entire stage went wild.

And as they finished with burn this city, burn this city we were left with a high that would last.

In fact the right high for us to then run back to the other side of the world to catch some M83.

You may remember I saw M83 earlier this year in Lausanne. So you can read more there. But unlike Justice (and most bands) who came down a notch when they performed at a festival, M83 came up about 1000 notches. One of the reasons was probably that the entire crowd was going CRAZY and sending them so much love. The response from the crowd was incredible and they could not do anything but raise their energy to match.

And as they played Midnight city and the tent material nearly shook from the screams and jumps of the overflowing tent there is no doubt that is a performance they will remember. As they lifted their arms to create a heart shape with their hands the entire crowd copied it and it was clear that a French-Polish strong love bond was made. Check it out below to see it for yourself.


Song of the day: Send your Dreams

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Dear song of the dayers,

Let’s continue with the Paleo featured artist – M83 is next. Also on the Monday.
You may recall that I attended their concert in Lausanne and wrote a fully-fledged review on their greatness:
And I have already given you Midnight City, We Own the Sky and the Intro.

So now I give you a slower but still wonderfully beautiful single from their latest single, Hurry we up we’re dreaming!

Let it build up

Now you have two very good reasons to buy Monday tickets


Concert Review: M83//Les Docks//Lausanne//18 March 2012

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Sunday night just reconfirmed what I mentioned in the Justice review, the French just do electro better. Now, in no way is M83 the same as Justice in style but it shares a similar French flair, individuality and of course synth. It’s a lot more ambient than hard hitting electric beats of Justice. On style it reminded me a lot of Explosion in the Sky (which I HIGHLY recommend to both listen to and to go watch) with less attention to detail to the instruments as they have two (and now three) complimentary singers. Let me get into the details:

The show started with one of the members on the stage wearing the mask gracing (or grossing) the front of their debut single Midnight City and their latest album Hurry up, We’re dreaming. The title is much more charming than the cover. The lights were low and gloomy and the masked figure raised an arm as the crowd started to cheer.

The set started with one of my favourite tracks, the simple but very effective Intro Ft Zola Jesus. This with the mix of some tangeriny purple misty lights is just the perfect build up to a start of a show. The lighting continued to be very effective throughout the whole show (again something they share with Justice but in a completely different style). There were many different shades, colours and ambiences created which was very effective and added lovely contrast.

It is clear that the band has come a long way since their originally started in 2000. Only Antony Gonzales remains of the original duo after Nicolas Fromageau left after their second album. Anthony has now got the support of the multi-talented Morgan Kibby on vocals and keyboard as well as  Loïc Maurin on the drums.

Antony also posted online open audition to recruit a very versatile musician who can sing, play guitar, keyboards and bass. The auditions were done via youtube where applicants posted videos.

I could not find the results of the auditions anywhere but was automatically charmed by the charismatic curly haired member on the left of the stage. He-who-is-not-Google-search-friendly is definitely overly talented. Not to mention a very good entertained on stage. He ended the show climbing on some platform and clapping and hyping up the audience And his addition melted smoothly into the sounds produced by other members.

Also if you want to have a laugh check the guy that obviously didn’t make it.

So back to the concert. The crowd was very lukewarm at the beginning but as the songs started to flow they loosened up and I was happy that my jumps were met and matched by more and more people around me. I love Les Docks. The room is just the right size, the line-up is always great, the price completely reasonable, but sometimes the crowd there can be a bit boring. I was happy this changed along the way.

It also helped that Anthony announced it was their first proper performance in Switzerland (outside festivals) and that it was their last date on their tour and that they really were going to give it everything they had and hoped we could enjoy a great night together. The crowd really reacted well to this. And every song that passed the cheers became louder and louder.

I thought the sound quality fantastic and the instrumentals really beautifully played out. Even though to be fair there was a large amount of prerecording (such as the iconic saxophone on Midnight City). I really enjoyed Morgan’s dreamy voice on some of her solos such as on We Own The Sky and how it melts into the two male voices so seamlessly. Another highlight was the drum solo on Lower your Eyelids to Die (the second last song they played). It is nice to see Anthony really letting the newest addition having their full chance to shine (while he turns the knob of his massive sound board). All their contributions really painted this Milky Skylines they sing about right in front of your eyes.

The only thing I was surprised was I thought the delivery of Midnight City (their hugely popular hit) could have been stronger. Don’t get me wrong we all loved it, I just thought the band could have brought that performance one notch stronger.

But overall I enjoy and jumped and moved to every minute of their galaxy inspired mystical tunes. Ambient and effective. And I felt like M83 was not just named after the spiral galaxy Messier 83 but because it took me there.

I’ll even forgive them for this sell out. 


Song of the day

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Dear Song of the dayers,

Yesterday I went to yet another wonderful concert at Les Docks: M83. This French electro band is all type of wonderful – concert review to come very shortly with all the details.

You should remember them from previously featured Midnight City, We Own the Sky and You, Appearing. For now I leave you with the first song from their latest wonderful album. Hurry Up, We’re dreaming (love the title).

Intro (Ft Zola Jesus)