Sonos Studio


Better Than: The cheap seats

On Friday night, Deadmau5, née Joel Zimmerman, played for a crowd of 200 people at acoustic gallery space Sonos Studio. This is a guy who played four nights in a row at the Palladium last August and was the first electronic artist to headline Toronto stadium the Rogers Centre. Suffice it to say, Friday's event was a rare chance to see one of the biggest names in electronic music in an intimate and acoustically ideal setting.

The invite was confidential and the list was tight for the show, which was sponsored by KCRW and recorded for the November 1 episode of Morning Becomes Eclectic. Upon entry, guests were handed glow in the dark mau5 ears and kindly reminded that no social media was to be used during the event. “Tonight is special,” read signs on the wall near the open bar requesting that posts to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook be quelled for a few hours.

Before his set, Zimmerman sat down for a conversation with Morning Becomes Eclectic host Jason Bentley. “So you're in love,” Bentley began, referring to Zimmerman's new-ish romance with tattoo artist reality star Kat Von D. While he seemed reticent to speak to the topic, Zimmerman did open up about collaborating with singers including Imogen Heap and Cypress Hill on his new album. He also talked about the new stage production for his upcoming tour, giving away few details but basically saying that it's going to be a next level mind blower. “People are going wonder why no one has thought of it before.”

Credit: Timothy Norris

Credit: Timothy Norris

Post convo, Zimmerman jumped on top of a pared down version of his famous LED-paneled cube stage set up and launched into a ninety minute set that borrowed heavily from his recent LP >Album Title Goes Here<. The set was killer, a progressively deeper flow of cleanly sophisticated electro-house that got bigger and more engaging as it went on. The crowd was into it, with a faction of fans front and center getting down in a club-style dance party that raised the temperatures in the room to sweat-inducing levels.

The show's visual references ranged from old school Nintendo to deep space, and the LED lights weren't even turned up all the way, so as not to blind the dancing crowd. Zimmerman donned his signature mau5head a few times, but it seemed to be too hot inside for him to wear it for long. As such, it was a rare treat to see his concentrated facial expressions as he button pushed and knob-turned a wholly excellent set that ended with standout single “The Veldt.”

Photos of the show were on Instagram within an hour after it ended. It's hard to keep something so epic a secret for long.

Personal Bias: My mom came along to this show, and she danced her buns off.

Overheard in The Crowd: “I love the part of the song where it gets really big and loud and dramatic and then suddenly something happens and everyone goes wild dancing.” “Yeah, I think you're talking about 'the drop.'”

Random Notebook Dump: Space invader neck tattoo hardcore.

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