robots confirmed better at music than humans

by benduhamel

eliza ligon

What is your ultimate dream concert to attend that has already happened? For some it may be when Nirvana and Pearl Jam played the same venue, or Prince’s Purple Rain tour, or maybe the last performance by an artist they love before their death. Regardless, the answer is deeply personal and yields great meanings behind why a person chose their particular concert. For me, the answer is Daft Punk’s Alive 2006 at Coachella. Bear with me, I was tired of hearing “Get Lucky” on the radio too. The French musicians would perform inside a 24ft tall pyramid donned with LED strip lights all around and would go on to play a transcendental show that launched the Alive 2007 tour. I mean, let me just state that again: the musicians wearing robot costumes that light up stepped into a 24ft tall pyramid with the lights to produce enough light pollution that we’d never see the stars ever again

What is so special about this show/tour besides giant pyramids? It’s pretty much the only time the group has performed live in their 27 year history. The members have also said that they’ve “never been more in sync” than when they were playing live. This tour was also much larger than the previous Daftendirektour in 1997 after the release of Homework that year. Alive 2007 took the world by storm and had shows in North and South America, Europe, Japan, and Australia. 

The music played is from the groups first three albums, and they are all bangers. More so they are mashed TOGETHER. If you’ve payed attention to my recent review of Mouth Dreams, you’ll know how much I love mashes. It’s Daft Punk’s stellar catalogue (getting even better with 2013’s Random Access Memories 6 years later) being combined together to engage the crowds with songs that are recognizable yet entirely fresh and reimagined. Everyone’s seen/ heard Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger at some point whether that be from the video with the little 8-bit ninja dancing to it from early YouTube, or as a Kanye sample, the song is iconic. Yet it achieves an entirely new level when in conjunction with Around the World. Their two most iconic songs combined together live for an entirely new experience makes even watching the show at home enjoyable. I strongly recommend going on YouTube, packing a fat fucking bowl, and letting their Las Vegas show rip your eyes out. Or just checking out the recording on Spotify, you can hear the crowd freaking the fuck out as the beat for the first song comes in and it is like that for the entire hour and twenty-four minutes. Last thing about Alive, probably my favorite part is when they are performing Technologic, the song is about *verb* it, touch it, save it, load it, etc. The different words are showcased on the large screen of lights behind them, and for Alive they added “Fuck it” and they repeat fuck it for a little bit and it’s just this giant red screen that says “FUCK” in all caps and if you can’t relate to that after the election, shit. 

Enough about Alive, I’d love to talk more about Random Access Memories (RAM) as it is easily in my top 5 favorite albums of all time which is maybe quite sad I’m not sure. The group’s funk album is a masterpiece and won 7 Grammys including album of the year and much like their other albums it tells a story. It journals the Robots experiencing love, attraction, even touch for the first time. Features from Julian Casablancas, Giovani Giorgio, Pharrell Williams, and many more solidify this album by allowing more variety within the songs. The features serve as narrators of the story. “Get Lucky” is actually about quite literally the robots having sex for the first time. It was overplayed to death on the radio and people don’t want to bother with it yet when the robots get the spotlight in Get Lucky may be one of my favorite moments in all of music. The spotlight is put on the robots, and you can hear the confidence in one, and the reservation in the other’s voice. There is so much story behind their performance in carrying mood through voice and it is often entirely overlooked. The album is about navigating love and relationships, and what it’s like to be alive. 

Give robot music a try, I recommend it.

Categories: ben duhamel, November 17, 2020, tunes

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