As a longtime and loyal fan of Deadmau5, I was ecstatic when he announced his “Lots of Shows in a Row” tour was coming for my city. From my understanding, his most recent appearance in my area was well over 5 years ago. Otherwise, the closest venue or festival he had graced his presence at had been over 100 miles away. Although Deadmau5 is one of the few acts I will travel for and make a point to see, it isn’t always the most convenient. Walking into Merriweather Post Pavilion for Deadmau5, I had no idea what to expect. I’ve had the pleasure of attending a Deadmau5 set in the past at every type of setting: crowded festivals, intimate after parties, and a headlining NYE show. My last Deadmau5 experience was at the Buku Music + Art Project after party, which has been burned into my memory forever, labeled as the most enjoyable electronic music performance I’ve experienced. Driving to the venue for this tour, I knew it would be very different from that after party performance that catered to less than 800 fans.
Here’s the thing about Deadmau5 sets: if you want to hear the top electronic house tracks produced by an assortment of DJs, well, you’re at the wrong place. The beauty of Deadmau5 is that he only plays his own tracks. During the classics such as “Ghosts ‘N” Stuff” and “Raise Your Weapon”, Deadmau5 slipped on his notorious mau5head. While playing songs from his new album W:/2016ALBUM and new, unreleased tracks that he slipped into the set, he was a headless mau5 (aka, he didn’t perform with his mau5head on). Deadmau5 isn’t one to talk to the crowd on the microphone during his sets, unlike most DJs. There’s no need for him to tell the crowd to “put your f*cking hands up.” Instead, the music speaks for itself. I can really appreciate that.
So why was I enthusiastically pushing my friends, some of which who weren’t avid electronic music listeners, to purchase a ticket and dance the night away with me to Deadmau5? One main reason: Cube 2.1. Deadmau5’ new stage show is an enhanced version of his previous cube stage. The updated custom built Cube 2.1 stands at 15 feet tall and 16 feet wide featuring internal robots that push the sides of the cube. To project his brand new graphics, state-of-the-art LED panels are up and around the cube. Seeing the Cube 2.1 in pictures and videos does not do it justice. I was undeniably astonished by the clarity of the graphics. Cube 2.1 illuminated with comedic, 3D visuals such as a googly eyed mouse, dancing cows, a tribute to ever-so-popular game Rocket League, and much more.
By the time 10:30pm hit, it was evident the crowd was winding down from their once bouncy, energetic demeanor. With the set coming to an end, most of the crowd was slowly swaying back and forth to the melodic beats. By showing the unique range of Deadmau5’ producing ability, the set and overall performance was everything I could have asked for and more.