September 1, 2011
Phoenix Convention Center
Phoenix Convention Center is usually home to conferences and expos, but last night one of the massive halls was turned into a giant glowstick-heavy dance party as Canadian producer deadmau5 ("dead mouse") came to town.
It seemed like an odd place to have a show, but considering the electronic dance theme, it was the most appropriate venue to host the concert. From the outskirts of the venue, seeing empty space around the crowd was a little weird, but once you got in the mix of the audience, all you could focus on was the energy of the fans abound you, and the venue actually seemed like a massive dance club, not a convention center.Deadmau5 donned his signature light-up mouse head for most of his nearly 2-hour set, and it was quite the sight. It displayed the eerie smile, it sang along to "Tiny Dancer," and it showed off a myriad of hypnotic images that fit in perfectly with the music.
That wasn't the only thing to look at on-stage -- deadmau5 stood atop a giant cube-like display that also visually moved to the music, and there were hanging lights and giant screens in the background the displayed everything from Pac-Man figures to never-ending mazes.
And then there were the strobe lights. All the lights accompanied the beats well, creating an energetic scene that was downright beautiful, especially during the middle portion of the concert which featured slower melodies.
Deadmau5 wasn't alone -- he brought singer/rapper SOFI along to perform during the especially intense latter part of the show. Her songs were a hit with the audience, who sang along.
It was nice to get such a positive vibe from those in attendance. Most people seemed focused on the music and dancing, and the atmosphere was happy and bouncy. It was a big party where strangers became friends, and though most of the crowd was young, there was a lot of diversity among the fans, including hipsters, frat guys and candy kids.
While the show itself was a success, there was one major glitch -- the 21-and-older makeshift beer garden. The line to get in was insanely huge, and the vendors ran out of beer before deadmau5 even made his way on-stage. My friends waited more than 45 minutes in a disorganized crowd just to be told there was no more beer left. For the next show at Phoenix Convention Center, the bar situation needs to be majorly improved.
Personal Bias: Ever since I saw deadmau5 perform at Coachella last year, I've been a fan.
The Crowd: Mostly teens and early 20-somethings.
Overheard in the crowd: "It sucks deadmau5 rips off Daft Punk so much," referencing deadmau5's repeated flashing of the word "f*ck" and his Daft Punk remix.
Random Notebook Dump: I totally forgot wearing a bikini to these kinds of shows is appropriate -- I'll file that away for next time.