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October 23, 2010

So a Mythical Bird and a Pair of Cyborgs Walk Into a Bar…

Posted by on Oct 23, 2010
Daft Punk

…and make amazing music together.  On Wednesday night, French indie rockers Phoenix played a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden.  This in and of itself is great, but at the very end of their set, the house lights went dark, and a single spotlight illuminated the robotic costumes of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, also known as Daft Punk.

Two guys dressed as robots are clearly nerdy, but this performance was especially so.  Find out why, and get video, after the jump.

After Phoenix performed “If I Ever Feel Better,” Daft Punk showed up.  The two launched into “Harder Better Faster Stronger”, and then Phoenix joined them for “Around the World.”  They closed the show with a fantastic version of Phoenix’s “1901.”  The good people at captured some great video from right in front of the stage.

Now here’s where things get super nerdy.  After “Around the World” and a few minutes of “1901,” Phoenix’s guitarists launch into some pretty familiar tones, used to communicate with extra-terrestrials in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Playing the part of the aliens, Daft Punk responds in kind.  The two groups then go into a medley of said tones and “1901.”  This is so damn cool it makes me want to cry.

So there you have it.  Possibly one of the most unique and thrilling musical experiences of the year, and I wasn’t there.  But hey, thanks to technology and the internet, it almost feels like I was.

In case anyone was wondering, Daft Punk showing up at a Phoenix concert is not all that random.  The robotic pair actually were originally in a rock band called Darlin’ with Laurent Brancowitz, who is one of the guitarists of Phoenix.  After a slow start and poor reviews, the trio broke up, Brancowitz joining Phoenix and Bangalter and Homem-Cristo sticking together and starting to experiment with synths and drum machines.  And I think you know the rest.