M83 and School of Seven Bells played some spaced out intense sets at a sold out Webster Hall this past Friday. The most recent M83 and SSB albums, Saturdays=Youth and Alpinisms respectively, have landed them on most critics album of the year lists and led to sold out shows across the country. With both bands use of atmospheric experimental sounds mixed with a pop wall of sound, it has introduced a new generation of music fans to shoegaze and bridged the gap between groups like themselves and pioneers such as Spaceman 3 and My Bloody Valentine.
Being that School of Seven Bells is a native Brooklyn band you could feel the energy and anticipation in the room of the trio taking the stage. As the group took the stage they were of course greeted very warmly from the Webster Hall crowd. The band played selections from their drony/dream-pop debut album with perfection and showed, amongst other things with their live performance, why The Tripwire choose them to play their CMJ event.
[School of Seven Bells]
M83 finished the night by opening up with a warped rock version of the single "Run into flowers" off of their second album Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts. The group then went through selections from their newest album Saturdays=Youth and from other past albums with an amazing ability to recreate the wall of sound effects that they achieve in the studio.
Although the audience was facing a mile high wall of music we could still hear the musical specifics within the songs. The band balanced their more accessible pop material with their Brian Eno ambient songs well. After putting the audience into a shoegaze haze with their set the group came back out for their encore to perform the 80s style dance track "Couleurs" (sans cowbell) off of Saturdays=Youth. The crowd erupted and spilled out into the streets after the performance.
By Kim Robinson