A lively crowd at the Wexner Center for Performing Arts, located on the Ohio State University campus, moved and danced to the electronic beats of M83 last night. What they didn’t expect from the French trio — Anthony Gonzalez, keyboardist Morgan Kibby and drummer Loic Maurin — was a wild ‘n’ crazy brawl. Though, that’s exactly what happened… eventually. As the band meandered through their electro-heavy set, including standouts “Sitting” and “Don’t Save Us From The Flames”, conflict awaited around the bend. Although the action lay mostly with the crowd throughout the night, what would happen on stage would prove to be the highlight come closing time.
Moments before M83′s set came to a finish, during closer “Couleurs”, Kibby invited the mainly docile crowd on stage to “bring down the house together.” While 30 or so accepted the invitation (including myself), and one concert-goer even went so far as to knock over the glass shield in front of Maurin, all three members remained unfazed and continued through their dynamic jam. Unfortunately, not everyone held those exact sentiments.
Production staff at the Wexner Center started breaking it up. Fans were ushered off stage, then abruptly pushed off, to which it became a screaming jamboree. Although the fans followed orders, Gonzalez was not happy. He wasn’t having it. Because 30 seconds later, he waved fans on stage again, all in the name of dance. This time, however, production staff became angry, violent, and irate. Immediately, they pushed oncoming fans off the stage and stood at the front blockading people from jumping back up. This didn’t sit well with Gonzalez, who blew up, yelling “Fuck you” into the microphone at the production staff for messing up their set, all while the two accompanying musicians continued playing. You can only imagine the musical genius at hand.
While one member of their touring staff tried to quell the argument, it was too late. Gonzalez left his post and confronted the production manager for the venue head on, hitting him violently with the open palm of his left hand. The crowd, which continued dancing, appeared stunned as well. Strangers turned awestruck to their neighbors as if to say, “Did you see that?”. What’s more (and kind of, um, bad ass), the band actually finished its song, and Gonzalez jumped into the excited crowd, who threw him up jubilantly. Soon after, M83 exited and the fans dispersed, knowing they not only saw a great show, but saw their newfound hero (Gonzalez) kick ass in their name.
After everyone had abandoned the scene, fans all gathered by the tour bus, where Kibby stood and chatted with fans. Much like her fanbase, she was as awestruck as anyone. When asked about the incident she stated “I’ve never seen that before.” Fans continued waiting for Gonzalez, who arrived a few minutes later and received a warm ovation from the onlookers. Though clearly annoyed and pissed, he greeted the fans with thanks and appreciation before climbing back on the bus with the rest of the group.
Needless to say, Ohio State University will likely not want M83 back for a show in the future, but loyal fans will surely want to see them back in Columbus… preferably at another venue.