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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 26, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 34
Deadmau5 turns Paramount into modern dance cathedral
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Deadmau5 turns Paramount into modern dance cathedral

by Jerry L. Peerson - Special to the SGN

Deadmau5
August 18
Paramount Theatre


I've always had a soft spot for great dance music, but until last Thursday, I'd never attended what so many rave about: a Deadmau5 concert.

Now that I've had the great fortune to do so, I can only ask myself, 'What took me so long?'

Fresh out of the gate and on his 'Meowingtons Hax' tour, multiple Juno Award-winner and tech genius Deadmau5 (aka Joel Zimmerman) transformed Seattle's Paramount Theatre from its already grandiose self into a modern cathedral of dance.

When the Toronto native opened with a fresh new track, 'Where Are My Keys?' an eclectic gathering of glow-in-the-dark mouse ear-wearing and skin-showing devotees roared with jubilation. Their maestro, high above on a platform known as 'the cube,' donned an elaborate mouse head (or 'mau5head'), and never failed to draw a euphoric reaction when he took it off for a breather. Even some of the tired (or possibly just more inebriated) audience members seated in back applauded the sight.

If that didn't make them cheer, the flawless transition into 'Bad Selection' accompanied by the sight of the cube becoming one giant (and I mean giant!) animated Rubik's Cube certainly did. The video and light displays were awe-inspiring and brilliantly complemented each song.

Amidst the lightning highs of laser arpeggios and thunderous rolls of deep pulsating bass, Deadmau5 skillfully crafted his way through the early part of his set with beloved songs 'Some Chords' and 'To Play Us Out.' With text on-screen questioning, 'What does it mean to play us out?' the audience built into a frenzy waiting for the next beat to drop. And drop it did. With the final text reading, 'We'll do it live!' an ecstatic reaction ignited a sea of glowing mouse ears bobbing in unison. This seemed to please the maestro.

Although Deadmau5 never spoke, he certainly communicated to his fans in other clever and imaginative ways. When joined on-stage by guest vocalist Sofi to perform on 'Sofi Needs a Ladder' and 'One-Trick Pony,' a song full of sex and swagger, Deadmau5 made his way down from the cube to approach Sofi and his fans. A mini dance-off ensued, culminating with Deadmau5 pulling out a breakdance move that I've not witnessed in some time: threading the needle. Sofi, who looked foxy in her lustrous green hoodie, admitted defeat and exited the stage with a warm, 'Thank you.'

Continuing with the jovial stage antics, Deadmau5 descended from the cube one more time before the set-ending 'Ghosts and Stuff.' A figure wearing a white sheet with eye holes had invaded the stage. Wearing a black ball cap and a grin, Deadmau5 pretended to clobber the ghost away. Of course, everyone in the house knew what was to come next: by far the most elation-evoking number thus far. 'Ghosts and Stuff' had everyone belting out the chorus lyrics of 'I just want to lay it right, we-we're gonna get there tonight.' I even noticed the aforementioned 'tired' crowd dancing and singing along.

After a short break, the encore began with a memorizing and thumping version of 'Limit Break.' The song was accompanied by a humorous video depicting Deadmau5 conquering all in a retro Super Mario Bros. world. 'Animal Rights' and 'Get in the Cart, Pig' continued the party. For the final number, Deadmau5 performed from his 2009 release, For Lack of a Better Name, the cinematic 'Strobe.' With stage and house lights dimmed, coupled with the lush beauty of the songs' intro, all who possessed a lighter were inspired to raise theirs, seemingly to show appreciation for the audio and visual masterpiece they had just experienced.

Upon filing out of the Paramount, I overheard a young concertgoer proclaim, 'I just died, happy,' and while I can't say I died, I can certainly say that I lived and departed & happy.

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