Air @ The Riviera 3/24/10

In what can only be described as a lackluster effort, French auteurs Air played a meandering set at The Riviera Wednesday night.  The setlist pulled heavily from the group’s 2009 release Love 2.  Founding members Nicolas Godin and J.B. Dunckel were joined onstage by a live drummer whose bombast at times seemed out of place within the lush orchestration of the songs.

The audience seemed to heartily enjoy the set, eating up tracks from 1998’s full-length debut Moon Safari.  Had they not released a record in 2009, Air might have been better served doing a Moon Safari tour and encoring with more recent “hits.”  It pains me to say, but at times I felt I was “enduring” a song, particularly “Don’t Be Light” from 10,000 Hz Legend.  If I hear that song ever again it will be too soon.

Even unabashed classics like “Talisman” and “La Femme d’Argent” felt lackluster and featured bass tones that I found less pleasing than on record.  Stage banter was non-existent, but a huge video screen and light show did add something to the experience.  I surprised myself in appreciating “How Does It Make You Feel?” and “People In The City” more than ever before.

Setlist 3/24:

1. Do The Joy
2. So Light Is Her Footfall
3. Love
4. Remember
5. Venus
6. J’ai Dormi Sous L’eau
7. Missing The Light Of Day
8. Tropical Disease
9. People In The City
10. Don’t Be Light
11. Eat My Beat
12. Cherry Blossom Girl
13. Be A Bee
14. Talisman
15. How Does It Make You Feel?
16. Alpha Beta Gaga
17. Kelly Watch The Stars
Encore
18. Heaven’s Light
19. Sexy Boy
20. La Femme d’Argent

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