Featuring the works and commentary of Andrew Bruss

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Deadmau5 Review: Ghosts 'n Stuff

I don’t care what the Chinese calendar says, 2011 is the Year of the Mau5. Deadmau5’s final performance of his four-night run at Boston’s House of Blues demonstrated plain and simple how he has become the epicenter of the electronica universe.  Glide Magazine published a photo gallery of mine from the event and my review has some solid youtube video as well.

Mau5 spent the summer playing music festivals while competing against acts across the field like Arcade Fire and the Foo Fighters. His electronica contemporaries, such as Tiesto and Paul Oakenfold, have been singing his praises loudly, and it’s likely that everyone in attendance at the 16+ show in Boston will continue to spread the gospel like an army of dedicated publicists.

For anyone who isn’t well versed in the differences between house, big beat, acid house or dub step electronica subgenres, the one aspect of Mau5’s show you will rant and rave about are the production values. Daft Punk’s Alive Tour is probably the only other electronic act to tour behind such a spectacle, but Mau5 is the first to bring a production of such epic proportions into a nightclub.

Amongst the converted, the production values of the beats themselves are what has made Deadmau5 legend with the house heads. Deadmau5, AKA Joel Zimmerman, has developed a sound instantly recognizable within moments of a listen. In addition to the melodies he pumped on his hits such as “Ghosts ‘n Stuff” and “Raise Your Weapon,” Mau5 infuses every one of his tracks with digitally crafted tracks mastered to perfection. While the intro to “Some Chords” may have sounded simplistic, the multiple layers of bass, fuzz and high-end pitch are definitively Deadmau5. After infusing a slow creeping drum beat, the dance floor didn’t stop moving.

While his crafty music productions and impressive stage schematics have played a major part in his meteoric rise to fame, Mau5’s branding is what has him the most commercially viable electronica artist of the new millennium. Sasha & Digweed were huge, Tiesto still draws a crowd and Pretty Lights is bringing the party to every dance hall across the country, but who among them has an image as recognizable as Deadmau5? The proliferation of the Deadmau5 brand has played a big part in his ability to sell out multiple nights in a row at Boston’s House of Blues, New York City’s Roseland Ballroom, and plenty of other top-tier clubs. In Boston alone, Mau5 was selling roughly 400 sets of mouse ears made out of glow sticks at $5 a pop. In New York, I was told the number was closer to 800 sets a night.

Between the near-perfection of the beats, the extravagance of the live show, and the development of a recognizable brand (the message boards light up whenever Zimmerman reveals a newly built mouse helmet), Deadmau5 showed Boston in no uncertain terms why 2011 has been the Year of the Mau5.

Editors Note: I am contractually barred from running photographs from the concert on this blog. 


  1. poop... nuff said

    1. noooooo, poopy pance mgee... nuff said, you autistic spider monkey.