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Deadmau5, Live At RDS
The geeks have inherited the earth and it sounds glorious.
Craig Fitzpatrick, 18 Jun 2012
He can war with Madonna, make young women carelessly abandon their clothes, and conquer the marshall-law modern days of dance all he wants, but I’ve got Joel Thomas Zimmerman’s number marked. The Canadian known as Deadmau5 is a geek. For a start, he’s named after the rodent that once got trapped in his computer. And here he is, two-thirds through a youth-corrupting Dublin set, being dragged reluctantly up-front by cameo frontwoman Sofia Toufa, his one concession to showmanship. And here she is, trying to make him dance, like some bad wedding reception scene. Sure, we must account for that distinctive mouse bombshell on his noggin weighing down his moves, but he’s still an embarrassing shaker. On top of that, this evening his visuals – honestly pretty poor for an act of his stature – cast him in his own mid-’90s side-scrolling videogame. Almost impossibly, it somehow adds up to greatness. The lack of rhythm is also a boost for your humble correspondent, a stock-still, suited and notepad-in-hand journo getting confronted and cajoled awkwardly by sweaty dancers mid-arena all night. And it’s a long night – Deadmau5 gives you plenty of bang-bang-bang for your buck.
Over the course of close to three hours, the RDS venue literally throbs. Usually booked for more civilised affairs, this evening Simmonscourt is packed with thousands of young revelers quickly turning the venue into a steamy, tropical air hangar of techno. Shirts need to be removed, skin shown. You too ladies. Then you realise there are five hairy lads with beer bellies Bez-dancing in your vicinity and you immediately take it all back. But the music keeps coming.
An imperious, unmoving presence onstage hidden behind his now-iconic helmet, Deadmau5 comes at mainstream techno from a refreshing perspective whilst still holding the hooks to get the people going. With a distinctly European outlook to music-making, his is an subtly ethereal sound prone to sudden plunges into the primal. The kind that leaves his more prosaic competitors in the dust. His finest moments capture the collision of euphoria and melancholy perfectly, as per ‘Raise Your Weapon’. If there are qualms, it is only that the kick-off slightly underwhelms. Sharply in with the jackhammer, the opening half hour sounds a bit dance-by-numbers. But it clearly does the trick, getting the crowd into the required state of frenzy perfect for losing yourself to more sophisticated, elusive tunes later on. And really, what do I, a full-grown indie boy, know? I spend the whole night thinking the opening beat of every upcoming song signals the start of ‘Faxing Berlin’. It never comes. The fact a sober philistine like myself doesn’t really miss it must mean mission accomplished for big ears. The geeks have inherited the earth and it sounds glorious.