With so many huge parties having hit the New York City area for New Year’s Eve, there was one for certain that House4DJ just could not miss. Making his return to New York for the first time in two years (minus an unannounced gig at Provocateur where he almost burned down the house – literally), was the one and only Deadmau5! Live Nation and RPM brought the Mau5 back to New York to ring in the New Year arena style at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, with opening support from Nom De Strip and Le Castle Vania. Little was known on what sort of stage set up Deadmau5 would have after a busy year in the studio and less touring in 2013, so we had no idea what to expect, but knew it would be full of surprises. Despite some minor controversy that was enough for Deadmau5 (who never has a problem speaking his mind, and we love him for it) to reactivate his Twitter to announce that ticket sales would be getting slashed for a New Year’s event that had also forbidden the selling of alcohol, we weren’t sure what kind of spirit Joel Zimmerman a.k.a. Deadmau5 might be in – after some live tweeting that he would make the best of the situation (it was New Year’s after all), Deadmau5 went on to provide one of the best experiences and arena style sets that we’ve ever heard from him, cube and all, with an energy unlike any we’ve ever seen. Read on for details on his new stage setup as well as the tracks that really blew us away!
Before Deadmau5 took to the cube, a 5 minute timer appeared to count down to the stroke of midnight and the new year. We imagined that being when the show would start, but instead, Joel Zimmerman came out on stage without his Mau5 head and talked to the crowd for that short time. This was something rare and exciting, as it’s not something Zimmerman (or most musical acts for that matter) typically do. It was hilarious and awkward (to which Zimmerman also made note of out loud), and to hear the man himself on the mic for a few minutes cracking jokes and talking to people in the crowd with that snarky attitude of his reminded us that beneath the guise of Deadmau5 is a somewhat normal guy – it was humbling and heartwarming to see Zimmerman just hanging out and being friendly with people in the crowd. As it got closer to midnight, balloons fell from the ceiling (albeit at a snail’s pace, to which Zimmerman exclaimed “It’ll be 2015 by the time this sh*t drops, let’s go!”) while the crowd counted down until a big “Happy New Year!” rang through the arena. With a sign off on the mic of “Let’s play some f*cking music!”, Zimmerman entered the cube and donned the Mau5 head, bringing us on a musical journey unlike any other.
As far as the stage setup goes, Deadmau5 kept his trademark cube. LED screens appeared in layers, with skinny ones stretched out vertically in front of one giant screen (as seen above). Several floating Mau5 heads also hung above the cube, lighting up in sync with the music. There was a ton of new video content displayed for each track, some of it really trippy (like the sorcerer/priest and cryptic runs during the tracks Gula/Avaritia), and some of it vulgar and hysterical (like the comic strips during You There?). Some older displays came back as well, for classic tracks like Ghosts N Stuff and Cthulhu Sleeps. Most importantly, of course, was the sound – fully equipped with a brand new Funktion-One sound system, the unreleased gems Deadmau5 dropped left us mind-blown and speechless, and deservedly so as there’s no other way to hear them than through a devastating powerhouse of a sound system.
Opening his set with two of his latest unreleased tracks from his Seven project, Gula (Redux) and Avaritia, we knew we would be in for a treat of a set with a ton of new music, all original works of Deadmau5 himself of course. After getting the crowd worked up with the Raise Your Weapon vocal over yet another new track, Deadmau5 picked up the party with a new high-energy mix called You There?. Older and somewhat newer tracks like Cthulu Sleeps, Superliminal, and Where My Keys all made appearances, as well as Ghosts N Stuff and The Veldt (Tommy Trash Remix). However, there were two stand out tracks that really blew us away. The first was the unreleased My Pet Coelacanth, to which Deadmau5 dropped Morgan Page’s The Longest Road vocal over the break – this was one of the most euphoric moments of the set, and being in front of the stage and hearing it blast out of that sick sound system made the vocals really get into your skin and lift you off. The second was another unreleased track, Phantoms Can’t Hang, to which the Mau5 dropped an acapella called Inner Universe from the anime Ghost In A Shell: Stand Alone Complex, eventually leading into Moar Ghosts N Stuff and carrying the vocal throughout, making it our personal highlight of his set. Closing his set out of course with perhaps his most popular track ever, Strobe, only left us wanting more.
Twitter beef and mild controversy aside, we couldn’t be happier with the turnout and energy at Nassau Coliseum on New Years Eve, and we would even put money on it that Deadmau5 ended up enjoying himself, as he seemed really into it. If this show was any indication on what’s to come from Joel Zimmerman over the next year, who is still in the process of creating a new tour as well as a recently announced two disc continuous mix album release, we can safely say that the best is yet to come for the Mau5. Forget what you’ve already seen and heard – when Deadmau5’s new tour comes around, you better be there, and believe that we will be as well!
Check below to listen to a few of our favorite tracks from the show!
Photo Credit: Jon Sorrentino/RPM
Deadmau5 – Avaritia
Deadmau5 – You There?
Deadmau5 – My Pet Coelacanth
Deadmau5 – Phantoms Can’t Hang