Music Feeds’ Love Letter To A Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share stories about how the music they love has influenced their lives. Here, Dan McNamee of Art vs Science confesses his love for Daft Punk’s ‘Alive 2007’, a recording of the Parisian duo’s show at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy in 2007.
Art vs Science are noted Francophiles. The Sydney dance band’s breakthrough single, ‘Parlez Vous Francais?’, incorporated goofy French hooks alongside requests for French speakers to remove their clothing. Given their penchant for muscly synth tones and friendly dance floor grooves, it’s no surprise Art vs Science are big fans of Daft Punk. To coincide with the band’s new single, ‘I Saw You’, Dan McNamee shares his fondness for Daft Punk’s Alive 2007.
Dan McNamee on Daft Punk’s ‘Alive 2007’
Dear Daft Punk, Alive 2007,
You are a recording of a gig I went to. Actually, you’re not the recording of the specific gig, but a recording of a gig somewhere else – maybe it was Paris? But you played the same show more or less, and I certainly don’t remember it well enough to tell the difference. You are a memory of a key event in my life.
You are a monument of a time in my life. And the climax of a time in my life which was defined by friends, fun, love and music. You are still present in the minds of most people who witnessed you in person. Not four weeks ago I ran into some fans of Art vs Science after a gig in Brunswick Heads. After chatting for a while you came up in conversation. “I was there!” As the years go by “I was there!” becomes a stranger and more vivid acknowledgement of a shared experience.
A DJ friend of mine, immediately after the gig, had a look of shock and confusion on his face. Bewildered, shaking his head. “I’ll never see a gig that good again,” he said. At the time, like so many times in my life where someone has said it’ll never be this good again, I didn’t think too much of that comment. But in fact, he was right in many ways.
Daft Punk – ‘Robot Rock / Oh Yeah’
This was Daft Punk – the Daft Punk – at the Sydney Showgrounds, a proper outdoor stadium, full to the brim. The Presets supported. Cut Copy supported. Muscles supported. When ‘Robot Rock’ kicked in, the bass drum had an echo on it that was seemingly man-made but not man-made. It bounced around the stadium like we were gathered in some sort of Pagan/robot ritual. Some sort of dance to honour the technocratic world we were heading into. iPhones had just been invented. Facebook was just beginning to take off, but wasn’t full of ads and conspiracy theories; just pictures of friends doing dumb stuff.
If I sound a bit “those were the days,” it’s because perhaps I am. And of course I would go on to do other things – Burning Man and Berlin were huge musical experiences that might compare. But Daft Punk, Alive 2007, you are a recording of a moment that Sydneysiders in particular have together. A moment, unique. A moment, spellbinding. A climax that no one saw coming. Or at least I didn’t. The crest of a wave of a generation, which crashed sometime around 2012. For me anyway.