Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Deadmau5 hits Mullins Center hard Saturday night

With lines of people waiting outside the Mullins Center by 6:30 p.m., the excitement for deadmau5’s performance was palpable, and apparently mutual: “Nice! UMass is actually kinda big! Havent done a gig like this in a while… should be fun!” These were deadmau5’s words via Twitter and Facebook upon arrival at UMass yesterday. Those with tickets were guaranteed an experience of a lifetime, while many without them stood outside the Mullins Center desperate to find a way into of one of the most highly anticipated events on campus this year.

Walking into the arena, the energy was high, even at 7:00 p.m. Students crowded the stage, vying to get a spot in front for deadmau5’s eventual arrival. Neon colors, glow sticks in the form of mouse ears and spontaneous dancing characterized the enthusiastic crowd.

DJs Tommy Lee and Aero opened the show. With two giant projection screens lining each side of the DJ booth, matching images to the music, the DJs raised the excitement of the crowd with each track. Featuring house tracks like “Static” and “LFO Tool,” the openers were highlighted on a compilation with up and coming mau5trap artist SOFI, leaving the crowd wanting more.

At 8:00 p.m., DJ Feed Me (aka Jon Gooch), an artist under deadmau5’s mau5trap label, took over the stage from Tommy Lee and DJ Aero. A mix of electro house and dubstep tracks, Feed Me set the tone for this techno-club atmosphere. The dubstep fixated the crowd, with heavy bass and pounding beats, filling the atmosphere with energy. With tracks like “Cott’s Face,” the DJ gave the crowd just what they were looking for. With his more heavily dubstep-based approach, combined with the house DJs of Tommy Lee and Aero, every genre was covered in the opening acts, leaving the floor for deadmau5’s unique combination of techno, house, dubstep and his own permutations thereof.

The curtain fell for about 10 minutes. Around 9:45 p.m., it rose up again, revealing the futuristic cube stage and none other than deadmau5 atop it. Opening with the heavily synthesized track “Where Are My Keys?” right off the bat, fans went wild. Colored, flashing lights complemented by bass lines so heavy that fans could feel them began immediately as the curtains rose. Deadmau5 led fans in “fist-pumping” and waved his hands to keep the excitement up, being fully involved in the experience. Bouncing through the playful tracks “The Reward is More Cheese” and the well-known Bill O’Reilly rant-inspired “To Play Us Out,” fans got a taste of quintessential techno-house music.

A mix of the famed “Some Chords” and deadmau5’s remix of Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” followed, creating a slow but danceable beat with a strong rhythm. “Raise Your Weapon (Nosia Remix)” was featured, once again making a slow song feel energetic and upbeat. The powerful compilation of deadmau5 with SOFI, whose voice and ensemble is like that of a techno-club Lady Gaga, gave fans a fun club track to dance to. Deadmau5’s version of Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” incorporated dubstep and techno, giving fans a taste of a favorite track.

With a mix of old-school 8-bit inspired cartoon graphics and modern technology on display, the show felt like a futuristic comic-book experience. The set ended with the powerhouse favorite “Ghosts n’ Stuff.” As the lights went low and it seemed as if the deadmau5 experience had ended, fans began to chant “deadmau5,” and before long the mouse head reappeared, ready for an encore.

The encore featured the tracks “Limit Break” and “Animal Rights,” displaying graphics of a mouse head, cats, and the words “hax enabled” with coding behind it, finally connecting the title “Meowington Hax” to the show. Graphics of smiley faces and mouse heads would float across the monitors in unison with synths and beats created by the innovative DJ. The combination of lights, visual creations, comedic effect and uniquely inspired tracks made this concert more than just a musical experience – it was a full-on celebration.

Deadmau5 ended his show with a heartfelt dedication to Robert “Bobby” Clifford, the 25-year-old UMass student who died Thursday, Oct. 6, after sustaining injuries from a car accident. The night of the accident, Clifford was traveling home from the artist’s performance in Connecticut. Clifford was Mass EDMC’s promotional director and part of the reason deadmau5 was at UMass last night.

“RIP Bobby Clifford-Amor Fati” appeared on the cube stage in bright, white letters. As deadmau5 held a lighter and swayed to his beats of the song “Strobe,” the crowd followed in unison. Prior to the show deadmau5 wrote on his Twitter and Facebook accounts, “This shows for Bobby Clifford… i got a letter today from a friend of his, so i believe a special something is in order at the end of the show to remember him.”

Ending the set on a playful note, deadmau5 kicked a beach ball into the crowd and waved goodbye, flashing a peace sign to the crowd. Although underneath an oversized mouse head, Joel Zimmerman is able to fully connect to his fans through his music.

“Thanks SO MUCH Zoomass!!!! that one was f****** special. ill never for get it!” was posted by Zimmerman on his Twitter and Facebook accounts in response to the night.


Allison Ludtke can be reached at [email protected].


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    ArdyOct 17, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    best show i have ever been to