Reviewed: day of the deadmau5
Whether you call him deadmau5, Dead-maw-five, Testpilot or Joel, you can’t deny that this man has had a lasting impact on the music industry as a whole, not just in the electronic music realm (which is an article in and of itself). From his coffee runs with Skrillex, Dillon Francis, Kaskade, and others, to his infamous Twitter beefs, his ‘Polar’ Netflix movie soundtrack and of course the numerous hits and albums, deadmau5 continues to stay relevant and build on his fanbase.
The ‘day of the deadmau5’ shows are not the first time deadmau5 has played at Red Rocks Amphitheatre: the iconic outdoor venue located in Morrison, Colorado. He brought his ‘Lots of Shows in a Row’ tour back in late October of 2017. Announcing shows on November 1 and 2, Callie Reiff was chosen to open both nights alongside Lights, with i_o and Getter playing on the 1st and 2nd respectively. With such a big event, the people won’t want the party to end at just midnight. The remedy: two official afterparties. Night one was a mau5trap branded after-party featuring No Mana from the label and another set by i_o at Beta 2.0 with night two hosting the head honcho Deadmau5 and Callie Reiff at Temple.
Last but not least, a ‘day of the deadmau5’ pop-up shop on November 1 and 2 powered by Sphero and TIDAL was held in the LoDo neighbourhood of Denver where fans had the opportunity to purchase new and exclusive merchandise from deadmau5 and members of the mau5trap family. These include items like tour tees, jerseys, new crystal wash hoodies and long sleeves, posters and even tarot cards (from i_o). The pop-up also included a signing by deadmau5 on both dates as well as a signing by the supporting artists from his Red Rocks shows on Saturday. The in-store experience also included “BYOMH” mau5head gallery and an interactive music experience powered by Specdrum, as well as brand new art installations and the Cube v3 McLaren.
Here is the review of the afterparty on day one and the Red Rocks show on day two.
Afterparty Day 1
Arriving there early in support of local producer and DJ, Black Wands, the professional audio engineer by trade didn’t disappoint. Weaving his magic to produce an aural symphony of progressive house and other melodic tunes, he set the tone in a very precise manner. Cory Goldsmith, who recently announced a collaboration with Adam Stark on Magic Island Recordings, followed suit in a similar fashion. Prepping and captivating the crowd before the headliners arrived, the Denver local talent continues to improve their notoriety year over year.
The national artist on the bill was No Mana. Based out of southern California, the young artist has made a name for himself in a relatively short period of time: releasing loads of music on mau5trap and recently on Anjunabeats with his own EP and a remix of Above & Beyond’s ‘It’s Only You’. His voltaic electro house with influences from various four-to-the-floor genres and styles from different years and stages of electronic music was very evident throughout his set. Flying straight from Canada to Denver for ‘day of the deadmau5’, i_o arrived at the afterparty with guns blazing. He too has a number of releases on mau5trap and conquered his remix of Above & Beyond’s ‘Alchemy’ earlier this year. His techno malware investing the screens and speakers at Beta 2.0’s grand opening weekend event as his signature style of techno music resonated well with the crowd.
Red Rocks Day 2
If I had thought back in November of 2009 that I wouldn’t have seen Deadmau5 for another decade after that night, I wouldn’t have believed you. On this below freezing evening of November 2nd, Red Rocks Amphitheatre still revels in beauty: the naturally occurring rock formations with a stage nestled in between, officially opened to the public in 1941 but was used by the Ute tribe and others in earlier times. Unfortunately, I arrived just during the tail end of Callie Reiff’s set but was able to listen to why she was selected for three shows in two days as her trap and future bass wasn’t too coarse for the opening act.
With Getter cancelling his Visceral tour due to disgusting fan behaviour earlier this year, it was encouraging as a fellow music producer and industry professional, to see him get back up in a resilient effort to continue making the music he finds inspiring. His set consisted of selections from his album ‘Visceral’, which is a blend of electronica and downtempo, as well as throwing in a sprinkling of trap and even rapping a few lines near the end of his set.
There was a slight 20 minute set break for the changeover to the cube, which given the very cold temperatures present across Denver, wasn’t as unenjoyable as previously expected, seeing as Red Rocks is over 1,000 feet higher than the city limits. Staring down at the cube in its third rendition or cube v3 for short, in all of the glory with the backdrop of the city lights is quite close to indescribable. ‘FML’ was introduced as the first track, fitting as that’s what Deadmau5 used to open his show in Houston at the House of Blues the last time I witnessed him live. Skipping to the middle of the set, you had to know that ‘Ghosts N Stuff’ was coming. Followed up by ‘Monophobia’, the vocal collaboration between Pendulum and Knife Party star Rob Swire off the ‘Mau5ville: Level 1′ album released in 2018 echoed against the massive rock pillars.
The cult favourite ‘Raise Your Weapon’ was next as Joel brought on Lights, the featured singer, for a live vocal performance. Deadmau5’s new offerings ‘SATRN’ and ‘COASTED’, which were released on November 15th and 22nd, help to push the gig into the last leg. If anyone remembers the video of Joel discovering singer Chris James’ after he sent him recorded vocals atop of ‘The Veldt’, then you know hearing the song in person is equally as bone-chilling. Add that he used the Eric Prydz and Tommy Trash remixes to amp up the energy before heading into ‘Strobe’ really made the night for me. You can check out the setlist in its entirety below.
Where My Keys
My Pet Coelacanth
Infra Turbo Pigcart Racer
Three Pound Chicken Wing
Moar Ghosts n’ Stuff
Ghosts N Stuff
Raise Your Weapon/Raise Your Weapon (Noisia Remix)
The Veldt (Eric Prydz remix) / The Veldt (Tommy Trash Remix)
Speed, Violence, Momentum
deadmau5 is in the middle of his ‘cube v3’ tour across the USA you can get tickets here