Deadmau5 @ The Paramount 08.18.11

August 18, 2011
Walking into the paramount tonight you're confronted with an enormous cube tilted on axis and flanked by flying (thats a theater term btw, not....actual flying) geometrical cube constructions all backed by a giant LED screen and rained down upon by a plethora of beaming lights. If nothing else, the sheer visual pleasure of the structure is enough to get you excited. Even un-illuminated the shapes compliment each other beautifully like pieces of a puzzle. And the sheer size of the production is impressive in itself, possibly the most well assembled visual show I've seen since Daft Punk's fabled pyramid tour.

The crowd is quite the sight in itself, a mish-mosh of late 20 somethings and 15 year olds, theres a few types running around the building. Basically you've got your Dude-bros, your slooty raver chicks, your 15 year old kids rolling for the first time (I kid you not some 15 year old stood next to me at one point during a musical transition, looks ahead with a blank dinner-plate-sized pupil stare and says to absolutely no one, "incredible". Then of course his raver compadre joins in and transfixes him for a good 5 minutes doing that glowstick thing) and your arm candy. I'm sure it makes me an old fart to say this, but I can't imagine ever letting my kid go to an electronic show at that age at this point. Volvo driving soccer mom's who think rock n' roll and a little pot is the devil would crap their pants if they even took a quick gander at the atmosphere of a place like this. Glowsticks bent in the shape of mouse ears are scattered through the audience, some members even baring homemade replicas of the DJ's moniker (all of course with their own color scheme and personal touches, after all, raving is about expressing personal freedoms) It should also be said I've never seen so many people show up late. I get that things started a little early (I walked in at 8:45 and the set had already begun) but the buzz the dude-bros and their arm candy were rocking seemed to take away the sting of the couple bucks worth they missed out on, (many oooo's ahhh's and YEAH BRO's were heard upon the arrival of these late comers)

It's easy to see why Deadmau5 attracts such a crowd though, think of him as the Nu-metal of electronic music. It's super easy to sink your teeth into, it's not terribly complex, it's got a fun theme (don't tell me kids don't love the dressing up thing) and an S-load of crazy light up screens. Which at times hone in and spin off on his mouse theme featuring the character scenario'd into games like Pac-Man and Mario. It's tough to tell if anyone here is a genuine electronic music fan, if any of them really know whats going on up there inside that tilted cube, but at the same time, it seems that if you're there to analyze the subtle nuances of Joel's (yes that's his real name) set then it's safe to say you're missing the point. Over the course of two hours we touch on deep-house, tech-house, dubstep and dabble with trance, and not a single one of these kids seems to care or notice the difference. If you can shake your ass to it who cares what it is seems to be their take on the matter.

Playing just under 2 hours, all kinds of hits were thrown our way, from the recent 4x4=12 we found the peak of the set with songs like "Raise your Weapon", "Sofi Needs A Ladder", and "One Trick Pony" all packing a powerful punch when dropped back to back (the aforementioned Sofi herself made a cameo to perform two of the tracks live, which forced me to ponder the question of how much she's paid for her 10 minute appearance...a great idea on paper but truthfully her live vocals took away from the set and broke the illusion when she continually asked how we were feeling. Also odd was watching Joel take the mouse head on, take the mouse head off, put the mouse head back on, light it up, make it flash and impress, take it off again, you get the idea. Again, i understand he isn't Daft Punk so it's slightly unfair to continue to compare his performance to the electro legends but come on, the guy sets himself up for it. He stands in a giant light up geometric shape, wears a helmet, even dropped Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger towards the end of his set (which of course, got the biggest cheer of the night, proving no electronic set is complete apparently without an offering to the daft gods). And at the end of the night, despite perhaps not delivering on the same cognitive plain as the robots, he pumped out a punishing sweat inducing set spanning a fairly brief and already hit packed career (totally forgot about his 2009 collab with Kaskade, ironically titled "I Remember") and the much celebrated Ghosts n' Stuff (during which an anonymous figure wearing a sheet with giant black eyes drawn on took the stage, the person never revealing their identity, I'm just gonna tell myself it was Rivers Cuomo cuz it makes me happy. Should you shell out 60 bucks next time the Mau5 comes to town? I'm not sure about that, but if he's playing a festival you plan on attending certainly a set to not be missed, bring your dancing shoes...and maybe some mace.

Oh P.S. thanks to @Davidhoang for hookin it up.

^^ my sweet iphone vid complete with rockin sound quality