Review + photos by Julie Drexler
This past Thursday Philly was blessed with the presence of two amazingly talented bands. Like an astronomical phenomenon that only occurs every 3 years, AIR is touring North America, and the infamous French electro pop duo hand-picked Los Angeles based artist AM to accompany them on tour. As a huge fan of French electronic music, this was a highly anticipated show…
Tulsa-born and New Orleans-raised, indie artist AM set the stage for a night of cosmic melodies. With his electrified presence, AM seemed just as excited to be playing with AIR as the crowd was to hear them perform. The stripped down, three member band consisting of a vocalist/guitarist, keyboardist and drummer played a short, yet sweet set consisting of songs off their latest album Future Sons & Daughters. It’s hard to describe the exact genre of AM, but their uplifting set was like a mouthful of fruit punch pop rocks! They have this experimental combination of global sounds, folk-rock, pop, with a hint of funk. AM’s vocals were definitely the highlight of their performance - “Self Preservation” was pitch-perfect. It was an ideal set to start the night off and get the crowd warmed up for some Frenchy flirtation.
Seeing AIR walk out on stage was surreal. The French duo consisting of Nicolas Godin and JB Dunckel were accompanied by British drummer Alex Thomas from Bat For Lashes and Badly Drawn Boy. Dressed in all white, Dunckel stood manning the synthesizers and gazing into the crowd with this presumptuous smirk, while Godin effortlessly rotated between bass, guitar, and synth. The duo performed a number of songs off their latest album Love 2, interspersed with some popular goodies from their previous albums. Their performance was like a journey through space and they lifted the night off with “So Light is Her Footfall” and “Love”. In between songs, Godin amused the crowd by talking through a vocoder, which transformed his delicate French accent into a sci-fi robo voice. AIR left the stage to a robotic “Kelly Watch the Stars!” before returning for crowd-pleasing encore featuring “Heaven’s Light”, “Sexy Boy”, and “La Femme d’Argent”.
Overall, the night was a solid, spacey delight fueled by a French artistry not often seen here in Philadelphia.
More AIR photos and set list after the jump…