What would be the technical classification of an electronic artist these days? If you would have asked around 2011-12, where the grandeur of the electronic scene was at it’s peak, you may get something different than now. As festivals grew, the demand would eventually have to level itself. The seamless integration of electronic music into pop music these days — almost as uniform as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at this point, there are a few acts that strive to stay true to their own form. All this time, Deadmau5, arguably one of the productive and divisive figures in electronic music, has stayed true to what make him unique.
The Hammerstein Ballroom had been sold out for a string of four shows upon his A Lot of Shows In A Row tour. Fans lined up an hour early outside the venue to pack the spacious grand ballroom. There was an interesting dichotomy of fans; both dressed up almost business casual and those who carried their own home-made Deadmau5 headgear. Feed Me, the drum n’ bass electro producer from England, opened up the night playing intertwining his noticeable songs like “One Click Headshot” and “Cloud Burn”.
Deadmau5’s “Cube 2.1” stage setup is a sight to see. “Imaginary Friends”, a track from 2016’s W:/2016ALBUM/ served as the proper build up to the illumination of the Cube 2.1 visual. If you have ever gone to a Deadmau5 show or listened to a Deadmau5 set prior, the music takes you on a journey almost as if it’s its own story. As a constructed hour-and-a-half set played throughout the night, tracks like “Avaritia” and “Phantoms Can’t Hang” brought in the atmospheric, progressive music that Deadmau5 does so well.
The night had an uptick in energy when “My Pet Coelacanth” and fan favorite “Moar Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff/Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” were played. From the floor to the balcony of the sold out show, fans danced and started at the visuals of Deadmau5’s cube. The cube itself had a parade of bright lights and visuals, such as a dog, that ran across it with a silly version of a Deadmau5 head.
The best spell out their devotion in music, and the two tracks that best displayed the tight relationship between Deadmau5 and his fans were “The Veldt” and “Strobe.” The two songs, contrasting in tempo, both gave fans a space to dance their hearts out one more time and get lost in the music. To leave fans with a treat, Deadmau5 came back out and played “Raise Your Weapon”, one of the beloved tracks from 2010’s 4×4=12. As many flooded out the door, drenched in sweat and discussing with friends on how the night went, it’s apparent in electronic music that in order to last, you have to make moments that stick out while being true to your own creativity.