Deadmau5, Rihanna - House of Blues - 2/13/12
House of Blues
Better than... The Grammy telecast's attempts to showcase EDM.
Skrillex may have won three Grammys, but it was Deadmau5 who ultimately impacted the celebration, its red carpet and after-party scene the most. The mouse man is, after all, Skrillex's mentor, and his success helped catapult the dubstepper. His little prank yesterday was awesome too; while walking the carpet, Deadmau5 wore a t-shirt with Skrillex's cell phone number on it.
In any case, forget about the show's EDM "moment," and its performances fusing electronic music with rock and hip-hop. The genre was best represented at Deadmau5's House of Blues benefit later, which featured Rihanna, Sen Engrosso and Calvin Harris. It was perhaps the hottest electronic music ticket last night, even if it was a $1000 one, with proceeds going to the Children's Orthopeadic Center and the Mark Taper-Johnny Mercer artists' program at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. The place was packed throughout the night.
Glowsticks fluttered about the room, piles of tinsel streamers covered HOB's floor (and later, the fans), and a giant screen bursting with hypnotic visuals framed each DJ, making them appear to be inside of a giant computer game.
Beforehand, we attempted to squeeze in another buzzed-about bash -- P Diddy's Ciroc party at the Playboy Mansion. That party was black tie, but baggy pants and bling was mixed in too, with ladies in short, tight sequined dresses, humping and bumping to hip-hop and trying to get close to Diddy and guests such as Paris Hilton and Afrojack. By the time we got back to HOB, Rihanna had already finished her short set, performing only "We Found Love" and "Where Have You Been" with Calvin Harris. After the uneven Coldplay collab at the ceremony, she went out on a high note, we were told.
We entered while Deadmau5 was spinning a pumped up version of Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" by Marco Demark. He then added less vocal-driven, throttling rhythms and trippy cut and paste embellishments to his set. Like most electronic music DJs, he'll often start off a bit languid and build to a skull-rattling crescendo, but for the most part Deadmau5 sets aren't really predictable. Melodic tangents and synthy slatherings are part of the sonic trip, and he's good enough to keep his audience with him.
Below: Deadmau5 removes his mask.
The mask and mouse ears helmet is a big part of Deadmau5's persona, but when he took it off about halfway through his set, it became clear that this gimmicky gear doesn't necessarily define him. Grammy wins or no, Deadmau5's talents thrive.
Personal bias: For a former raver, flashbacks make everything better.
Overheard in the crowd: A rave at the House of Blues!
Random Notebook Dump: Really hope he doesn't record with the Foo Fighters.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.