There may be no greater example of the power of dreamy synth-pop today than M83. The ensemble, led by founding member/composer Anthony Gonzalez, has been a staple of cinematic music since at least 2011 with the release of its breakout hit, “Midnight City”.

Since then, M83’s shows have morphed into must-see experiences, buoyed by eye-catching animations, carefully curated lights, and, of course, the songs and stylings that made the group famous in the first place. That all came into clear relief during M83’s recent performance at the Shrine Auditorium near downtown Los Angeles.

For the better part of two hours, Gonzalez and company mesmerized a happily captive crowd—one that spent the whole show on its feet—with a range of rock, jazz, and dance music, punctuated by cinematic crescendos. As the name of the Fantasy Tour would suggest, the setlist was heavy on songs from M83’s latest release.

The group opened with “Water Deep” and “Oceans Niagara”—the same pair that starts the album—and went on to cite “Amnesia”, “Earth to Sea”, “Fantasy”, “Laura”, and “Sunny Boy” during the main set. M83’s fantastical frolic continued during the encore, returning to the stage with “Sunny Boy Part 2” and “Dismemberment Bureau”.

All of the new tracks were more than worthy of inclusion. They suffused the show with a sort of silver-screen melancholy, punctuated by cartoon renderings of the creepy monster that adorns the album cover.

Even a near-complete recital of Fantasy afforded M83 the space to delve into the cavities of its catalog that put the act on the proverbial map in the first place. Saturdays = Youth (2008) got a shoutout with “We Own the Sky.” Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts (2003) made appearances via “Run Into Flowers” and “Gone”. Before the Dawn Heals Us (2005) got nods courtesy of “Teen Angst” and “Don’t Save Us From the Flames”.

But no M83 show would be complete (nor would this one have been) without a strong draw from Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. The band brought its seminal 2011 album to the fore with “Wait” and “My Tears Are Becoming a Sea” before closing out the encore with a run of “Midnight City”, “Mirror”, and, naturally, “Outro”.

Each twist and turn in the setlist brought with it a bespoke selection of lights and graphics, along with a variety of instruments. In addition to rousing guitar and bass, synth-y keys, and smashing drums, M83 featured an inspiring slate of piano, saxophone, and violin.

All of that combined to make the group’s performance orchestral and rocking in equal shares. It’s the sort of show that would merit another showcase alongside the Los Angeles Philharmonic at some point down the line, perhaps even at the Hollywood Bowl.

Until then, fans of M83 can and will bask in the band’s glow, knowing that there is still plenty of sonic-visual brilliance left to be tapped by Gonzalez and his group.

Check out a gallery of images from M83 at Shrine Auditorium below courtesy of photographer Josh Martin along with videos from skivion.

M83 – “Oceans Niagra” – 10/10/23

M83 – “Run Into Flowers” – 10/10/23

M83 – “Outro” – 10/10/23

M83 – “Midnight City” – 10/10/23

M83 – “Outro” – 10/10/23

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