What's left to be said about Deadmau5 that hasn't already been said? Virtually unknown in 2007, the young Toronto prodigy skyrocketed to international stardom by word of mouth, internet exposure, and blessings from commercial giants like Pete Tong, Tiësto, and Armin van Buuren. Saturday's much-anticipated performance at Mansion came on the last leg of his world tour, and come 1 a.m., he got right down to it.
The club was predictably overcrowded to the point of hindering the pristine sound system at Mansion, but that didn't prevent the sheer loudness and brashness of his set. He kicked off with new electro-tech banger "Sometimes Things Get Complicated," and what ensued were a couple of hours of aggressively loud and tedious percussive techno. It was mostly new material, though, with little reference to his more popular tracks.
After an hour of this harsh, syncopated drivel, any notion of actually dancing was totally lost on the crowd. For a producer praised for his compelling melodic compositions, this stuff was just too harsh to listen to at such decibel levels, let alone dance to. The general feeling among fans, including myself, was that for all his greatness, Deadmau5 may have lost that humble quality that distinguishes great club DJs – the ability to please a crowd by appealing to its need for accessible music with a proper clubbing groove. We dig his experimental boundary-pushing intentions as producer, but perhaps his hardcore experiments are best left in the Mau5 lab.
By the way, Deadmau5 fans might do well to check out Sébastien Léger's set at Mansion on January 10. This talented French producer picks up where Deadmau5 leaves off when it comes to progressive tech house.