Live Gallery: Coming up for Air – Live at the Sydney Opera House 25.05.2024

Air Moon Safari

Twenty-five years ago, two young French visionaries created a romantic masterpiece that would leave an indelible mark on the pop landscape. With ‘Moon Safari,’ Air blended lush electronics, swooning melodies, and an irresistible European retro-futurism, crafting an album with music, that at the time became ubiquitous. Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel are performing the entire album live on stage for the first time in Australia, over two nights at the Sydney Opera House as part of Vivid Live. This iconic venue serves as the perfect backdrop for the lush, romantic soundscapes and dreamy retro-futurism that define ‘Moon Safari.’

“I was raised to be an architect. My dad was an architect and he wanted me and my brother to follow him and take over his studio. So I’m so happy to be playing the Sydney Opera House because it’s one of the most iconic buildings in the world. And as Moon Safari is such a futuristic album and the Opera House was such a futuristic building when it was designed and built, it’s really a perfect match.”

Jean-Benoit Dunckel – Interview with Sydney Morning Herald

Back in the ’90s, Paris was a simmering cauldron of musical innovation, poised to erupt. At the heart of this creative surge were two visionary acts: Daft Punk, busy crafting their groundbreaking album ‘Homework,’ and Air, meticulously piecing together the lush soundscapes of ‘Moon Safari.’ Both groups emerged from the vibrant Parisian scene, each leaving an indelible mark on pop music and reshaping the sonic landscape with their pioneering sounds. Their simultaneous rise signalled a new era for French electronic music, one that would resonate globally for decades to come.

The concert hall is packed and there’s not a spare seat to be seen as the duo, clad in white, take the stage, accompanied only by a drummer (Louis Delorme,) also dressed in white. Without much ado, they launch into ‘La Femme D’Argent,’ and I look around at the blissed-out faces of the crowd. Outside, the Vivid Festival pulses with crowds and mayhem, but here in the Opera House, we are literally coming up for Air. I’ve listened to these songs for years, but hearing them live in this magnificent venue is a whole different experience. The depth of the sound here is transformative; it envelops you completely, drawing you into its warm, immersive embrace. Loud cheers erupt when the band swings into ‘Sexy Boy.’ As a photographer, I’m only supposed to stay for the first three songs, but I can’t help lingering for the fourth track off the album, ‘Kelly Watch the Stars,’ even in 2024, it remains as beautiful and captivating as it was 25 years ago.

Check out the gallery below.

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