deadmau5 @ the Hollywood Palladium on 09.28.19

Full disclosure … I still don’t have anything shiny and new to post just yet. But like many others, I’m still in the same leaky boat, missing all that live music that could’ve and should’ve been, had the viral apocalypse effectively been deflected with what should’ve been some modicum of expediency.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any choice in these worldly matters, whether Mother Nature wishes to kill me or not, and whether I’m quarantined under stay-at-home orders, so I’m left with the thoughts of living in yet another alternative universe (the first one started in ’16), although, this time without the comforting sounds and sights of live performance.

Anyway, like I mentioned a few days back, this has all motivated me to reboot the blog. So that’s what I’m busy doing, starting with dusting off some olden forgotten entries that never quite made it past the drafting phase. For the time being, it’s going to be old business … unless, of course, you count these unpublished/soon-to-be-published bits as new, which from a certain point of view, is actually kinda true.

Anyway, that brings me to deadmau5 and his “cube v3” electro extravaganza.

For the life of me, I can’t quite recall why I didn’t post this one sooner. I’ve been skimming though this show, the fourth of five sold-out nights, to refresh myself on the experience, and it’s a sight and sound spectacle to behold. Granted, my footage has a few bits of questionable audio consistency. But visually, I was propped right against the stage, off to the left side of the giant centered cube. So there’s plenty of in-focus and up-close eye-candy to behold.

For those in the know, or who enjoy dance music and happened to be paying attention last September, the renown Canadian electronic auteur deadmau5, a.k.a. Joel Zimmerman, performed a five night residency at Hollywood Palladium, dubbed “cube v3.” I attended the Saturday night performance on 09.28.19.

The long-standing and moderately intimate Palladium has played host to a number of wonderful acts in recent years … Nine Inch Nails, LCD Soundsystem, Massive Attack, and Explosions in the Sky (an LCD link is forthcoming) … all shunning the bigger venues for the moderate closeness and medium capacity of the historical art deco venue. Now, we can add deadmau5 to this exclusive list.

Musically, this was end-to-end, rock-solid, high-end electronic dance music … progressive, techno, breakbeat, electro, and very house, in all it’s forms. There was even some orchestral bits, recalling Zimmerman’s classical adaptation on “where’s the drop?” Essentially, he’s been making music since ’98, so not surprisingly, this part was rightly covered … and appropriately comprehensive and utterly expansive.

Visually … well, it’s been awhile since I caught this show, so bear with me, as I try to recapture the utter eye-searing saturnalia of volumetric light and laser fury that I remember it being.

Let’s start with “Suckfest9001” and “Maths,” featured below. Believe it or not, this was one of the show’s tamer moments, in regards to being blasted with strobes, countless beams of focused light, and synchronized LED paneled animation and imagery.

As I’ve been refamiliarizing myself with these clips, I still can’t believe that all the equipment, lighting rigs and mechanized structures all fit on the seemingly modest Palladium stage. The rotating cube itself was gigantic, barely grazing the stage’s rear wall and ceiling.

Check it out.

deadmau5 performs “Suckfest9001” & “Maths” at the Hollywood Palladium on 09.28.19.

Next up was the classic “My Pet Coelacanth,” with the orchestral version as prelude (from “where’s the drop?”), accompanied by some slithery, shiny prehistoric CG snakish business. Again, not the peak of visual intensity. But a certifiable promise of hallucinations to come.

deadmau5 performs “coelacanth (ov)” & “My Pet Coelacanth” at the Hollywood Palladium on 09.28.19.

Keeping with the creature theme, I couldn’t resist including this short bit from “Moar Ghosts n Stuff.” I think the Moar’s meant to be phonetical. Anyway, the imagery is downright hysterical … and just so fucking weird. Also, totally synced, and as such, makes complete sense, if that’s any comfort. Zimmerman’s whacked sense of humor proved a major asset to the cortical overdrive.

deadmau5 performs “Moar Ghosts ‘n Stuff” at the Hollywood Palladium on 09.28.19.

And the madness continued … with the seeming prequel/sequel “Ghosts ‘n Stuff.” There’s a fair bit of banging the head against things, in this case a computer desk, as well as another revolution of the cube, revealing Zimmerman in full mouse headgear, which unsurprisingly, he admits gets pretty hot inside. And yes, he did take it off later in the show.

Following, things take a darker, leaner, meaner turn with “Cthulu Sleeps,” which is about as techno and melodically abrasive as you can get with Lovecraftian lore.

deadmau5 performs “Ghosts n Stuff” & “Cthulu Sleeps” at the Hollywood Palladium on 09.28.19.

“Imaginary Friends,” another classic, pixellated the screens next, offering a bit of the old beat familiar, which, I might add, is always a welcomed thing.

deadmau5 performs “Imaginary Friends” at the Hollywood Palladium on 09.28.19.

Melody swings back again with a brief mash-up of “FML” and “I Remember,” which eventually segues into a bigger bombastic beat-bashing montage of illuminati and inferno imagery for “Avaritia,” chased by some vector mosaic mandalas for “The Longest Road,” and some “Three Pound Chicken” thrown in for good measure.

But that’s not all … “When Phantoms Sleep” and “Raise Your Weapon” wrap around another vocal rendition of “The Longest Road” … which leads me to wonder why I should even bother trying to differentiate some of these moments. Live, deadmau5 crafts a mash-up, full-on mix-n’-match collage of all his various material, some tunes layered and overlayed, others performed in full, often continuous and usually unexpected.

“Raise Your Weapon, which included the Noasia Remix, also featured the first live vocal performance of the evening, courtesy of Canadian singer Lights, a.k.a. Valerie Anne Poxleitner. And as I forewarned, the mouse gear came off …

deadmau5 performs “I Remember vs FML” at the Hollywood Palladium on 09.28.19.

deadmau5 performs a mash up of “Avaritia,” “The Longest Road,” & “Three Pound Chicken Wing” at the Hollywood Palladium on 09.28.19.

deadmau5 performs a mash up of “Where Phantoms Sleep 04” & “The Longest Road,” followed by “Raise Your Weapon,” with vocals by Lights, at the Hollywood Palladium on 09.28.19.

A pair of beloved electro classics, “The Veldt” and “Strobe,” brought the mouse head back, as well as an energtic and euphoric near-end finale to the night’s exhaustive spectacle. It wasn’t actually the show’s end, but it felt like things were headed there. It’s also the two moments I recall, where the tracks seemed to stretch to their full entirety. I say, almost, because there’s always a little something extra in each of these moments.

deadmau5 performs “The Veldt” at the Hollywood Palladium on 09.28.19.

deadmau5 performs “Strobe” at the Hollywood Palladium on 09.28.19.

deadmau5 concluded the night with the oldie, “Sofi Needs a Ladder,” bringing out vocalist SOFI to nail the point home. Sans mouse head, Zimmerman seemed to just be enjoying the moment, screwing around and making a musical moment of it.

Here’s how it all ended.

deadmau5 performs “Sofi Needs a Ladder” at the Hollywood Palladium on 09.28.19.

That’s my collected memories of deadmau5’s “cube v3” Palladium show, plussed by a whole slew of concert footage that I’d nearly forgotten that I had. I only wish the audio didn’t phase in and out of the highs so much. I don’t mean to dwell, but that kind of thing always bugs me. And when you’ve got an iPhone, and you’re caught between filming shit and having a hell of a good time, strange and unexpected outcomes are bound to occur.

On that note, I’m going to wrap things up on deadmau5. More of these near-forgotten posts will follow. Some are old shows, like this one. Others are tracks, singles, mixes, and memories that have been lingering for far too long. And there’s a bit of a blog facelift going on as well, which for the near and long future, will be an ongoing event … until of course, I reach the end.

Lastly, here’s the setlist for night 4 of deadmau5′ “cube v3” performance. Like I said, a lot of these tracks were mixed and mashed together, which obviously was unique to this particular evening. The setlist/playlist won’t reflect that aspect. But it’s a wonderfully robust selection, nonetheless.


deadmau5 peforms at the Hollywood Palladium on 09.28.19.