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Live Review: Deadmau5 (WHP)

Swimming through a sea of bopping bodies I bustled myself to the front of stage, met with rapturous applause as Canadian-born DJ Joel Zimmerman, more formally known as Deadmau5, took situ behind the illuminated deck.

The vast expanse of Store Street made for a fitting venue, charming and derelict I could immediately see why it is considered the spiritual home of The Warehouse Project. Sound echoing around the cavernous walls dampened and absorbed by the mass of bodies, suited Deadmau5 to a tee as he traversed through a neat balance of well-crafted tracks, ambient, upbeat, and aggressive.

Mixing new tunes with crowd-pleasing favourites made for a musical journey that clearly pleased his legions of fans; ethereal trance tracks such as ‘4ware’ lullabyed them into a relaxed-state before progressive, melodious tunes like ‘Monophobia’ sent them into a frenzy. A highlight of this, as anticipated, was his heavyweight song ‘Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff’; hands raised high, each soul energetically jumped, swayed, and sang as broad electronic wails warped down into hard thumping drum beats.

Streaking beams of light glimmered on transfixed faces with joyous gleam as the Grammy-nominated electronic star finally put on that legendary mouse head, the spectacle triggering a vibe through the audience that shit was about to get serious. Synth-heavy melodies and pounding beats impulsively shivered through rattling air vents above, surrounding the crowd as vibrations seamed through the quaking floor.

Shuffling side-to-side and shoulder-to-shoulder I found myself impetuously clapping along to that which I didn’t even realise should be clapped to, unexpected as that, much like the structure of his musical style transitioning between sound-worlds swiftly in his unique iconic genre.

Visually striking, electronic backgrounds and lighting cinematically accompanied the slew of infectious beats and drops, suitably layering on top of favourites such as ‘Strobe’ to forge a magnetising texture. This track in particular was greeted with reflective attention, slowing down with hypnotic ostinato and prolonging build-up to bring about some feeling of melancholy and acceptance, harmoniously connecting each friendly face in the audience. I was not the only person to enjoy the eventual drop in this one that’s for sure!

With expectations high, the hitmaker certainly did not disappoint harboured feelings of the excited 12-year-old me or even my more fine-tuned current self, treating the eruptive audience to a high octane and eclectic set. WHP proved a propitious event to showcase this unremitting talent with the abundance of space quickly shrinking scarce (tho somewhat too scarce at points!) as the underground ravers, heads bopping and hands waving, proved ripe and ready to party hard.

Bringing a range of sounds and emotions it was a pleasure to witness and experience first-hand why exactly Deadmau5 has such a golden reputation, making for an energetic and absorbing night that I will not be forgetting in a long time.

9/10

Tags: Deadmau5, Live, Manchester, Music, review, WHP

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