Daft Punk Returns to the Stage


Photo by AP Photo

We certainly managed to “Get Lucky” at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards this past Sunday with an amazing performance by two certain “robots” who have graced the world of Electronic Dance and French House Music for over 20 years. After two previous Grammy performances, the French duo Daft Punk performed their latest hit collaboration I Feel It Coming alongside Canadian singer Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, better known by his stage name, “The Weeknd.”

This performance was truly a rare treat for the both serious members of the music world and casual spectators who tuned in to CBS to watch the awards ceremony, since the duo tend to avoid the public eye. French musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, who play the drums and guitar, respectively, have a strong policy of secrecy and privacy. They very rarely appear in interviews or on stage, much less on television, due their value of anonymity and their personal lives. They even came up with their robotic personas and iconic helmets just so they won’t be recognized in public. The idea of De Homem-Christo (often referred to as “Guy-Man”) and Bangalter performing at the biggest televised musical awards ceremony seemed out of the question.

Even with masked identities, these two returned to the Staples Center stage for a third time to grace the Grammy’s with their presence, and, in line with their track record, it was nothing less than a show stopper. In addition to increasing its popularity worldwide with their infectious beats and catchy lyrics, the duo has helped shape and influence the style and reputation of French house music over the past two decades, molding it into such a popular genre today (so much that they have been mistaken as its creators). Undoubtedly, with nearly 25 years on the French house music scene, Daft Punk is an unstoppable and inimitable force of music whose reach extends far beyond the traditional fans of electronic music. Part of their appeal comes from their stunningly rich visual effects and mastery of light shows – for reference, look up one of their Alive 2007 tour performances – while the other part is their incredible ability to bend and blend up incredible remixes, which is where some of their more casual fans find their niche.

At the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in 2008, Daft Punk took to the stage with their mix of Kanye West’s hit single Stronger, which sampled a vocoder from their song “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” and made it better than ever. The remix was applauded by all who watched, both in the audience and at home. Six years later, the duo returned for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards performing alongside Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder for their hit single Get Lucky. They remixed their song with a number of iconic hits, including the song Le Freak by Chic and Another Star by Wonder, turning the performance into an incredible dance party for the entire audience.

Considering the positive critical reception towards I Feel It Coming, their performance live was bound to be the “Prime Time of Your Life,” and it certainly did not disappoint. Daft Punk’s talent has been going strong for over 20 years, and this year’s Grammy Awards ceremony was a rare gem as they came out in public and put on the ultimate show with the Weeknd.