One-off concerts pairing indie acts with orchestras are still all the rage. We recently caught Beirut and Clogs/Bell Orchestre & Friends and Grizzly Bear in our neck of the woods, and on Saturday sent Andrew Youssef to shoot M83’s night with the LA Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Speaking to NME before the sold-out event, Anthony Gonzalez promised, “We’ll play tracks that are more like orchestral material — mostly songs from my previous albums because I don’t think it’s really interesting to play pop songs with the orchestra.” The night started with Anthony solo, doing 30 minutes of ambient synth washes “using a custom analog synthesizer made of Livewire modules” according to our photog. Conducted by Julian Kuerti, the Philharmonic then performed Pärt’s “Fratres” and Debussy’s “La Mer,” two pieces selected by M83. And for the collaborative section: “Moonchild,” “Highest Journey,” (Bloc Party’s) “The Pioneers (M83 Remix),” “Lower Your Eyelids To Die With The Sun” and “In The Cold I’m Standing.” Hopefully concertgoers expecting cuts from the John Hughes-inspired ’80s homage Saturdays = Youth weren’t too disappointed. Though that seems unlikely, because that album is terrific. In any case, here’s what they saw.