Sasquatch! Music Festival 2016, Day 2: M83

Sasquatch, Live Reviews
05/29/2016
Jacob Webb
photos by Matthew B. Thompson

2011's Hurry Up, We're Dreaming didn't just turn M83 into a triple-A critical darling and unexpected commercial success, it pushed the band to become one of the biggest and outright best acts on the live circuit. Taking their records' widescreen ambitions and bringing them to life with a huge, borderline ridiculous light show and performing every song as if they were playing an encore at a sold out Stade de France, Anthony Gonzalez and co. were brilliant night after night for over a year, conquering pretty much every festival on the planet and then some. And despite the mixed reception to Hurry Up's followup, this year's Junk, M83 might have gotten even better as a live act. Their light show budget got even bigger and brighter, and they anchor the set around all of Hurry Up's most bombastic tracks. New vocalists Kaela Sinclair and Mai Lan brought an added dimension to Gonzalez' emphatic shout, and, last but certainly not least, the set has (at least) three times as much saxophone worked into the songs. For this writer's take, the Junk tracks play significantly better in a live setting, not least because a packed Gorge Amphitheatre jumping up and down highlights their most explosive qualities. Met with what was likely the biggest crowd of the weekend up to that point, M83's absolutely stunning subheadling set can be summed up best by the saxophone solo in "Midnight City": A little ridiculous? Sure. Over the top? Definitely. But damn did it get the people going.

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