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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 22, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 43
Deadmau5 spins the Paramount into a delirium
Arts & Entertainment
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Deadmau5 spins the Paramount into a delirium

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Deadmau5
October 13
Paramount Theatre


Joel Zimmerman is not like every other DJ. He doesn't play at company holiday parties, wedding receptions, or art gallery openings, and neither does he spend his meager earnings on rent before splurging the remainder of it at a local record shop.

Known by his stage name Deadmau5, Zimmerman is a superstar on the dance music circuit. This entitles him to house DJ status at this year's MTV Video Music Awards, headlining duties at Miami's Ultra Music Festival, and packed concert halls around the world, including last week's Paramount Theatre.

The Toronto native with his trademark headpiece in place - an oversized mouse head - stepped onto an altered podium at the center of the stage and began clapping his hands, which immediately got 2,000-plus concertgoers to do the same. Shortly thereafter, he worked his way into 'Some Chords.' Feet were off the floor, hands were in the air, shirts came off, headbands absorbed the first beads of sweat, and a dazzling array of lights exploded from the stage out to the theater - all signs of a very slammin' party.

At some dance-rave shows, there isn't much to see or take in. But at a Deadmau5 performance, you'll miss a lot with just a blink of an eye. And compared to the artist's previous Seattle appearance, fall of 2009 at The Showbox Market, this concert was a much more lavish production, with something happening every minute - the large split cube, part of the DJ podium, and a back wall of light tubes displayed like church organ pipes were obvious signs of Deadmau5's bullet train success. He's made it, clearly.

Like a crayon box melting and hitting a fan at once - reds, blues, greens, purples, metallics - the stage became an ever-changing fireworks show, especially during 'Ghosts n' Stuff,' a big Deadmau5 favorite. As the track got going, the cube switched furiously from one graphic pattern to another, and the stage swirled from one color burst to a completely different kaleidoscope altogether, making me think that if my TV ever blew up, this is what I'd see.

Familiar tracks got the most attention from the crowd, itself a collage of various sorts - students, veteran ravers, Gay, probably straight, white, Asian. 'Strobe' and 'FML' intensified the energy and the heat level inside the Paramount, now an oven at the front of the main floor with several formations of new dance partnerships trying each other out. Even if the crowd didn't recognize it (e.g., 'Cthulhu Sleeps'), they still danced to it.

Two cuts from 2007's Random Album Title project, 'Not Exactly' and 'Arguru,' were rotated near the end of Deadmau5's set. And then it all came to a close with 'October,' though not without the audience chanting for more and remaining on the floor or standing on their feet in the balconies until they were shooed away by security guards.

At $36.50 a ticket, the Deadmau5 show wasn't a cheap party to get into. But we're talking A-list here, one of the top electronic artists in the world and a kid who's helped popularize the genre in his short stint. For this kind of experience, where my eyes, ears, and legs enjoyed full workouts and where my sweat glands thanked me for loosening their load, the bang was well worth the buck.

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