When attending the show of a big name performer, one can usually set their expectations pretty high. When seeing someone like Deadmau5, however, expectations should be casually thrown out the window. It's hard to predict what this powerhouse producer will draw for his crowd on any given night. For those that have had the luck of experiencing his shows in the past, whether in 2013 or in his earlier years, it can be agreed that his style has evolved past the point of comfort for those approaching the night with hopes of witnessing the hype behind a Deadmau5 performance for their first time. Word of advice: if all you want to get out of his show is a picture of yourself with his iconic mau5 helmet in the background, stay home.
Deadmau5's unhooked set this New Year's Day tested the waters of his latest style while maintaining the traditional sounds of his previous works. Being that it was a live unhooked performance, it was difficult to distinguish whether or not one knew what song he was playing or if he was mixing one of his many acclaimed hits. His performance breached the realms of tech house with deep basslines that resonated on a different wavelength than his previously recognizable sonic outfits. While he incorporated stems from both his progressive darkwave and electro house staminas of the past, with even trancier tracks like "I Remember" making subtle cameos in the undertones, almost every buildup and breakdown was new to the ears of any longtime fan. Nonetheless, tracks like "Strobe" were all too familiar and welcomed wholeheartedly.
The turnout that night was not as healthy as your typical night at Mansion. Tickets may have been too expensive or maybe everyone was just too busy celebrating national hangover day. Regardless, a majority of the crowd didn't seem too impressed by the shortage of heavy dance tunes that characterize his YouTube clips of past shows. Likewise, Zimmerman himself (Deadmau5) didn't seem too keen of the crowd's lack of enthusiasm either. The level of excitement reached its climax during mid set for "Ghosts 'n' Stuff" as the crowd suddenly came alive as the chart topping single channeled the airwaves and Rob Swire's voice gave life to the venue —after all, his voice has become an emblem in modern EDM history. Although few of his hits graced the crowd that night, one can't berate Deadmau5 for wanting to experiment with his talent; while too much diversity can be tasteless, not enough innovation can be just as stale.
He bid an apathetic farewell to the crowd around 2:45am. Truth be told they deserved nothing more in exchange for their tepid and ill-mannered receptions towards one of the industry's most talented figures. Zimmerman exited the stage quietly as the night's closer, Damaged Goods, was quick to turn the dial towards a more mainstream flair to quench the crowd's thirst for something more "turnt up."