Photos by Eric Tra
M83 put on a dazzling display of lights and sounds at Seattle’s WaMu Theater. Tuesday’s show kicked off with two openers Tennyson and Yeasayer. Tennyson, a duo out of Canada, wowed the crowd with a unique blend of jazz infused electronica. While the band featured a relatively simple setup, their sound was anything but. Retro audio samples layered over chilled out synth hums, as steady drum track created tunes that take a fresh spin on jazz song formulas. While only on tour with M83 for a handful of shows, Tennyson still proved to be a nice surprise for those only expecting to see a two act bill.
Up next, Brooklyn based outfit, Yeasayer took the stage and went straight into their set which featured crowd favorites such as “Madder Red” and “I am Chemistry”. If you haven’t seen Yeasayer before, it might come as a surprise that the lead vocals are shared between members Anand Wilder and Chris Keating. This play between lead vocal responsibility throughout the set created a nice dynamic which kept the audience on their toes. However, despite Yeasayer’s infectiously catchy rhythms and dance pop beats, the audience failed to carry out an attempt at a sing along midway through the set. Fortunately Yeasayer carried on with grace and wrapped up with some tracks from their first album All Hour Cymbals to commemorate the nine year anniversary of their first album as noted by Keating earlier in the set.
M83’s set spared no expense both sonically and visually. The performance included a fantastic collection of hit singles such as “Intro” and “Midnight City”as well as some numbers from the latest album, Junk, like the retro synth pop jam “Road Blaster,” which featured a barrage of drums, reverberating keyboard synths and wild electric horn blasts. In addition to the band’s impressive line up of musical talent, old M83 fans will be delighted to hear the musical prowess of Kaela Sinclair, the band’s newest member and keyboardist as of last March. Already a keyboard maestro, Sinclair also brings to the table an impressive vocal range that can be heard on tracks like “Oblivion.”
Beyond the music, one of the most anticipated aspects of M83’s show was lighting production. Armed with a technicolor arsenal of everything from a twinkling star-like backdrop to beaming rays of blue, red and green that cut through the smoke with spectacular effect, everything about the lighting for this show was on point. M83 is currently on tour promoting Junk — catch them on tour if you can, you won’t regret it!