Air Blows Through Chicago

The Riviera Theatre – Chicago, IL

Air BandA robotic voice boomed over the airwaves as the French duo, Air, glided on stage in near darkness.

“Do you speak French,” it asked. The crowd roared back.

Air must have a wide range of fans, because people of all ages were at this show. I mean, Air has seen more than a decade of hits. The pair have left an imprint on everyone as they blow through album after album, who released over half of their work in the early 2000’s. The first full-length album, Moon Safari defined the “chill” genre and garnered their well-deserved attention from much of the UK’s major music news. Remember that perfect world when MTV stood for “music television”? Only briefly has Air slowed down to work with writer/director Sofia Copppola, scoring her original film The Virgin Suicides and contributing tracks to a few other films like Marie Antoinette. Air has also collaborated with many popular French artists, like Phoenix and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

When Air finally came on stage, I thought the crowd wasn’t going to stop cheering. The French duo donned primarily white clothes and started to let their work shine. Literally. A new light show synchronized to Air’s set shone through the crowd to the high decorative ceilings, filling the air with ethereal blues and purples. The pair pasted dreamy (read: trippy) videos on which flooded the stage with vivid colors complimenting whichever song they breezed through. The set seemed short and sweet, but the duo did play through much of their new album, Love 2. The more popular tracks were saved for end of the night, seeming to summarize where Air has been and where they are now. The strangest thing is that Air decides to change each one of their hits by a bit, adding new intros or entire choruses into old songs, keeping even their old hits as renewed as a re-invented version of their former glory.

The fans at The Riviera loved it. And rightfully so.

After a long standing ovation, the young couple next to me left as if the show was over. It was a brief wait beforethe duo floated back on stage to play an ever-so-slightly altered version of one of their biggest hits, “Sexy Boy”. The hurried encore still left more to be desired. It seemed almost like it was cut and pasted from France to The Riviera Theatre. Still, flooding our senses with a dreamy melodies and one seductive synth captivated the fans of the packed show. Be careful when you check out their most recent album, Love 2. Once you start at the beginning, you’ll be hooked until the end!

You could know:

“Sexy Boy” from the 1998 album, Moon Safari


You should know:

“Be A Bee” from their latest album, Love 2

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