Air Gets Symphonic With Beck, Falkner
Air got a lift from surprise guests Beck and Jason Falkner last night (Sept. 26) at Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl during the French electronica/rock duo's career first live performance with a full orcheAir got a lift from surprise guests Beck and Jason Falkner last night (Sept. 26) at Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl during the French electronica/rock duo's career first live performance with a full orchestra. The artists joined Air's Nicolas Godin and JB Dunckel in the encore for "Don't Be Light," drawn from the 2001 album "10,000 Hz. Legend."
Throughout the show, Godin and Dunckel were flanked by keyboardist David Palmer and drummer/bassist Earl Harvin for renditions of material from their past three studio albums, as well as the 2000 soundtrack to Sofia Coppola's debut film, "The Virgin Suicides."
Standout tracks included "Sexy Boy" and set closer "La Feme d'Argent" from 1998's "Moon Safari," as well as "Cherry Blossom Girl" and "Alone in Kyoto" from Air's most recent Astralwerks release, "Talkie Walkie."
Conductor Roger Neill crafted the expansive orchestrations behind the songs. "People often try to put orchestra and rock together, but they usually end up bringing out the worst elements, and it winds up sounding very vulgar," he admitted to Billboard.com backstage after the performance. "But with Air, their sound is already there. It's so rich and organic that when people even hear that they're performing with an orchestra, they already know it makes perfect sense."
Neill and his orchestra's lone rehearsal with the band lasted for 90 minutes before the show, although the arrangements had been hashed out with Air over the past three months.
An Astralwerks spokesperson says there are no plans to release material from last night's show, however a new EP, "Surfing on a Rocket," will arrive on Oct. 19. The disc will sport remixes of that track, plus new mixes of "Talkie Walkie" track "Alpha Beta Gaga" by Mark Ronson and the previously unreleased song "Easy Going Woman."