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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 28, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 17
Deadmau5 conquers WaMu Theater with flashy, cool show
Arts & Entertainment
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Deadmau5 conquers WaMu Theater with flashy, cool show

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

DEADMAU5
WAMU THEATER
April 22


All of those people wearing mouse-shaped headpieces around the SoDo district last weekend weren't headed to a rodent convention. These were loyal fans of electronic superstar Deadmau5, who drew capacity crowds to WaMu Theater on Friday and Saturday, as part of his 9-city 'Lots of Shows in a Row Tour.' Also spotted in the vicinity and also headed to WaMu were hundreds of folks with glo bracelets, illuminating sunglasses, colorful tutus, butterfly wings, disco pants, furry animal costumes, spray-painted hair and hula hoops - yes, the young couple I met in the security line was hoping to get a hula hoop through the body scan machines near the door. I'm not sure if they were successful.

Aside from a performance two years ago at a DOTA 2 championship tournament inside Key Arena, this was Deadmau5's first proper tour appearance in Seattle in years, a city he claims to love and a place he played steadily at before he became a marquee name on the global EDM scene. Besides reeling in large audiences to his concerts, Deadmau5 attracts a diverse group of followers as well - gay, straight, white, Hispanic, East Indian, college kids, adults - and even the significant percentage of gay men in attendance at Saturday's show were a mix of muscle boys, cubs, geeky types and a scattering of couples dancing joyfully together. This was a safe, fun zone for everybody.

Deadmau5 opened with 'Imaginary Friends,' standing at the tip of an angled cube-shaped platform that took up nearly the entire stage. Having seen him three times before, what was different about this performance, besides the set list, was how much more engaging the Canadian DJ-producer was with the audience, going as far as saying a few words here and there, or removing his own mouse-shaped headpiece for a good portion of the show. He didn't really do that when I saw him years back at The Showbox Market and the Paramount Theatre, so this was the first time I got to see his actual face in-person.

Speaking of set list, this wasn't my personal favorite batch of songs of the four times I've now experienced Deadmau5 live, but the fans certainly loved it and begged for more when it was all over. 'Phantoms Can't Hang,' 'Polaris' and an extended version of 'Maths' were standouts during the two-hour concert, which found Deadmau5 perched above the cube that flashed a series of bright, colorful and sometimes intriguing images, such as cows wearing mouse heads (if I saw that correctly). During a very high energy rendition of 'Moar Ghosts N' Stuff,' images of middle fingers slid from side to side on the cube, while adorable cat faces were displayed during 'Cat Thruster.'

'Oh shit, thank you Seattle'! shouted the heavily tattoed artist. 'Full house, I love it'!

As expected, the show featured several cuts from the new Deadmau5 album, W:/2016ALBUM/, including 'Snowcone,' 'Deus Ex Machina,' '2448' and 'No Problem,' though he also peppered his performance with older material, like 'The Veldt' from his 2012 release Album Title Goes Here and a fantastic, electrifying version of 'Strobe' close to the finale.

'And you get a Starbucks! And you get a Starbucks!' joked Deadmau5 mimicking Oprah's famous quote, as he laughed charmingly out to the crowd. 'Everybody gets a Starbucks!' He was actually a little giddy during this performance, something I've never witnessed from the Toronto native, who has a reputation for being cocky and very reserved. Get this - he even wished a fan a 'Happy Birthday.'

Later in the concert, he yelled out 'I do love Seattle! But I love Rocket League more!' referring to the popular video game that now features DLC (Downloadable Content) of Deadmau5. He then seized the opportunity to promote it by showing images from Rocket League in the cube.

The concert climaxed with a one-song encore featuring 'Raise Your Weapon,' as the crowd sang along to the vocals of Greta Svabo Bech on the 2011 mega hit. It capped Deadmau5's largest tour appearances in the Emerald City, two consecutive nights at WaMu Theater with a filled room, from a packed floor to every seat taken in the bleachers. This is how big he's become, and it's a testament to his music, which he consistently keeps putting out to keep all of his fans happy.

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