Photo by George Martinez The Mau5 man miming suicide at last year's Ultra.
He is EDM's evil stepchild.
Many hail Deadmau5 as "my fave DJ!" Some refer to the King Rat as the "Troll of Trolls." Others whisper "asshole."
For years, Joel Zimmerman, the human who wears that famous rodent helmet for a living, has been cultivating a reputation (mainly via Twitter) as a perpetual, unrelenting jerk. He might bitch about the price of tickets for his own club gigs. And he might slander any and every EDMer for any and every reason. And he will certainly sneer at the suggestion that he should be overly nice to someone just because that guy's undergone gallbladder surgery.
So last night, as the Mau5 took Ultra Music Festival 2014's main stage in place of the ailing Avicii, it was probably inevitable that he'd piss off a lot of people.
Photo by George Martinez
Even before Deadmau5 strolled toward the DJ booth to fulfill his 11 p.m. time slot, there was a buzz among the ravers about what "crazy shit" the King Rat might pull during this sub-in set.
Now, if you weren't aware, the Mau5 was stepping up as the replacement for the aforementioned Avicii, who'd suffered a medical emergency this past Thursday, been rushed to the hospital, and canceled his only other scheduled show outside of UMF, just hours after arriving in Miami.
The next day, the sick superstar bailed on Ultra and EDM's evil stepchild (who once said, "Ultra's same thing every fucking year," wondering, "When's it going to be played out?") was tapped.
well... looks like my stay here in miami just got extended for a couple more days ;)— deadmau5 (@deadmau5) March 28, 2014
So with only about an hour till the second day of Ultra 2014 would be over, the Mau5 was ready to get goin'.
But he couldn't quite figure out how to climb into the DJ booth, joking over the main stage mic about the death-defying jump required just to get behind the decks.
It took a bit of effort, but he eventually made it. And the King Rat show was on.
Seriously that was a long jump to that stage speaker. Once I was on there I wondered how I even made that jump in the first place. #stunts— deadmau5 (@deadmau5) March 30, 2014
As far as Deadmau5 sets go, it was fairly typical: moody, erratically paced, and self-indulgent, though still offering a few moments for the mainstream fans. And the ravers seemed to be OK with the goings-on, even if they weren't exactly going wild.
But it wasn't just the headliner that'd caused the vibe to be so muted. All evening, it had been raining, on and off. The crowd had thinned out, as many partiers fled for their hotels and homes when the downpour was at its worst. Even the Mau5heads who'd stuck 'round were looking wet and worn-out.
Severe thunderstorms and rain? Sounds like my kinda party.— deadmau5 (@deadmau5) March 29, 2014
He played some remixes, like Morgan Page's "Longest Road." He played some originals, like "Suckfest 9001," "Drop the Poptart," "Fn Pig," and "The Veldt." And he even played some stuff like Martin Garrix' "Old McDonald"-merking "Animals," of which the King Rat said, "I fuckin' love that track."
But the flash point of the night ended up being a mashup: Mr. Mau5's own "Ghosts 'n' Stuff" and Avicii's "Levels."
One member of the Ultra crowd said, "Oh, no. He didn't." And incidentally, Tiësto seems to have felt the same way. Even if the reaction was a bit delayed.