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Friday, January 26, 2007

Daft Punk - Live at Eurokeeene de Belfort 2006

DAFT004Daft Punk’s set at the “Eurockéennes” was a major coup for the Belfort festival as this was the duo’s only appearance in France. Understandably, this provoked a human tidal wave of fans surging up around the stage prior to the show. 2h30 in the morning and 30,000 festival-goers were chomping at the bit, waiting for a glimpse of their idols. Daft Punk upped the tension even further, keeping the audience on hold for one of the longest waits in festival history. Meanwhile, up ahead, a giant pyramid loomed over proceedings, a hatch half-opened at its pinnacle and a row of triangular forms fronted the façade of the stage. As the haunting five-note greeting from Close Encounters of the Third Kind echoed from the back of the stage, audience excitement reached fever pitch – this was, after all, the masked duo’s first concert since 1998! DAFT002

Finally, just as the wait was about to verge on agony, the audience erupted into applause as the two robot androids (who first appeared on the Discovery album) rose through the hatch on top of the pyramid, like superior life forms emerging from their flying saucer. Who could tell for sure if this was really Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem Christo? And who cared as the raunchy guitars and pumping electro beats of Robot Rock took the crowd by storm. This was pure sound-and-light extravaganza, with the pyramid and the rest of the stage dramatically lit in sci-fi mode (veering between the atmosphere of the 70s classic Tron and a futuristic Matrix aesthetic).

DAFT001Giant screens at the back of the stage flashed up the lyrics to Technologic as the robotic duo segued into a series of tracks from their (rather predictable) latest album, all specially reworked for the occasion. Pandering to fans’ every desire, Daft Punk took tracks from all three of their albums, in fact, throwing them together in a sort of mega-bootleg special, which featured a sultry (and rather obscure) remix by Gabrielle back to back with the raw energy of Rollin’& Scratchin’. This live medley of the hits that have made the duo’s career even backtracked to their very first chart-topper, Da Funk. As the festival crowd grooved the rest of the night away beneath the pyramids, Daft Punk cemented their legend, proving that their uncompromising, upbeat techno is still very much alive and kicking.

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                          Daft Punk - Live at Eurokeeene de Belfort 2006

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