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Air At Auditorium Theater 6/20/2017

French duo Air returned to Chicago for the first time since 2010 last night to play Auditorium Theater in support of their recent Twentyears collection. That’s right, Air have been playing music together for 20 years and the new discs are a pretty comprehensive overview of their career. If you really want to get to know them, you should just start at the beginning and listen to all of their albums from beginning to end. Moon Safari was the first record that I really liked in the “electronic” genre, so I owe the band a great debt of gratitude for introducing me to something I didn’t know I’d like. Also, their score for Virgin Suicides is one of the best ever made

Last night was my first time seeing them perform live, and immediately it struck me how much gear was on stage. For a band known as “electronic” they had a lot of stuff. Multiple guitars, a banjo, drums, keyboards, synths-a really impressive setup to make all the sounds they create on their albums. They didn’t talk to the audience except to say thanks through a modulated voice, but the music said plenty.

The set was filled with “the hits” from their run over the last three decades. 4 songs from their debut Moon Safari, 3 off 10 000 HZ, and 5 from the brilliant Talkie Walkie. The rest were picked up from singles and soundtracks. I’m only disappointed that they didn’t have Rhymefest come out and perform “Alpha Beta Gaga,” which was remixed by Mark Ronson to feature the Chicago MC back in 2004.

I’m glad that Air decided to play some shows in the States for this momentous occasion. I just hope it isn’t another seven years before they come back. It’s clear they still enjoy playing together, and love the audience. Here’s to 20 more years Nicolas and Jean-Benoit!

Setlist

Venus, Don’t Be Light, Cherry Blossom Girl, J’ai Dormi Sous l’Eau, Remember, Playground Love, People In The City, Radian, Alpha Beta Gaga, Run, Talisman, How Does It Make You Feel?, Kelly Watch The Stars

Encore: Alone In Kyoto, Sexy Boy, La Femme d’Argent

Air: Twentyears-A Top Ten List

April 12, 2017 Leave a comment


Yesterday this very website celebrated its sixth anniversary (yay!). Another big milestone is coming up for the duo that make up Air, the 20th anniversary of their debut Premiers SymptĂ´mes. They’ve announced a tour (their first US dates in 7 years) and put out a compilation of their best work since they hit the scene. You can hear it on Spotify or order a deluxe version here.

There was a time for a while when I would listen to Air almost every day. I was working in a kitchen making lunch and dinner for frat boys as one of my jobs for the catering company at which I was working. It was thankless to say the least, so I made a “morning mix” playlist to get my head in the game. It was all stuff from their first four records (minus Suicides, which would have the opposite effect to what I was hoping). It worked like a charm.

Air have always been great at creating an atmosphere with their music. Even into their later works, they’ve stood out as a group that’s identifiable-you know who you’re hearing without even thinking about it.

They also have a knack for picking artists to collaborate with that can elevate their songs to the next level. A few guests pop up in my list below, including Jarvis Cocker and Beck.

The live shows are taking place this June. They’ll be hitting Chicago, as well as New York, Boston, DC, San Francisco, LA, and Santa Barbara. Tickets for these shows are on sale now. Click here for more details.

10. “The Duelist”

9. “Sing Sang Sung”

8. “So Light Is Her Footfall”

7. “Mike Mills”

6. “Highschool Lover”

5. “One Hell Of A Party”

4. “The Vagabond”

3. “La Femme d’Argent”

2. “Playground Love”

1. “Kelly Watch The Stars”

Categories: Music Review Tags: , , , ,
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