Monday, June 18, 2007

Daft Punk at Wireless, June 16

Saturday’s Wireless festival was all about ‘The Pyramid’. Daft Punk’s giant onstage pyramid at the apex of which the French duo stood, peerlessly cool in their leather jackets and gleaming robot helmets. This was, according to most of the people we polled on the matter, quite simply the most awe-inspiring stage production ever witnessed.

That (we assume) it was staffed by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo - still techno’s most credible mass market live proposition - on firing form was enough to send most of the population of Hyde Park hysterical from 8.45 onwards. In fact, an event usually condemned for its corporate sterility looked like a gigantic outdoor rave right up until they closed the night with a deluxe filter-house medley built from seemingly random triggers of "Together", "Aerodynamic" and Bangalter's "Music Sounds Better With You".

Opening with "Robot Rock" Daft Punk essentially spent an hour and a half riffling through the favourites, mashing them all together and burning through somewhere in the region of 30 tracks in the process. You could spot a "Technologic" here, "Face To Face" there, then "Crescendolls", "Around The World" until you could barely focus on what was happening. A "One More Time"/"Aerodynamic" medley and the trio of "Rollin’ And Scratchin'"/"Alive"/"Da Funk" provided marker points in the first and second half of the set respectively.

Even if the guys in the robot suits weren’t Bangalter and Homem-Christo and the whole set was just a pre-record on which the faceless stand-ins simply flicked a switch then bobbed their heads, it takes little away from a set so perfectly crafted for maximum mayhem. It was enough to make you forget that it’s about six years since they’ve done anything meaningful, that they've been reinvented and rendered somewhat anachronistic by a new generation of French producers, that the Justice album is released this week, even. Who’d have thought Wireless could be this much fun?


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