Zedd, Madeon, Borgore (?!?), Alex Metric
Revention Music Center
September 25, 2015
There are no surprises in a Zedd set, but that’s a good thing.
It’s not that EDM fans aren’t receptive to surprises – more on that further down the page – but when you have a crowd packed into a space like Revention for a big dance party, surprises aren’t the type of thing you want on the menu. Crowds want big beats, big drops, big production and big sound, and in that regard Zedd delivers over and over and over again.
There may come a time when Zedd wants to get weird with his music, but right now he’s firmly swinging for mainstream success, and he’s making some serious progress. Look no further than the fact that among your usual half-dressed glowing masses were at least a few folks who looked like they had never been to an EDM show and were now slightly confused about what was going on.
Those folks caught on those, because Zedd is so good at what he does that it’s easy to get in to the rhythm of the show he’s putting on. Even a novice starts to pick up on when there’s going to be a CO2 blast or a streamer burst. It’s something that sounds like it should be boring, knowing the move before it happens, but instead it ends up just being satisfying; the type of thing where you just nod your head, smile and go, “That’s what I was hoping he would do.”
His mix was a hit parade, from his own big tracks like “Clarity” and “Beautiful Now” to his smash with Ariana Grande (“Break Free”) to that remix of Magic!’s “Rude” that is so good it almost convinces you that the original isn’t terrible.
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On a production level, the show was magnificent. The videos, the lasers, the other assorted gimmicks all worked perfectly together to present a show that was as good to watch as it was to hear. There is something elegant about the way that Zedd and his squad put these shows together; you definitely feel like you’re getting your money’s worth.
This was a show that was so good that it was easy to overlook the weirdness of seeing a dance show at Revention. Stereo Live may have its issues — the acoustics can be bad and the sightlines awful if the crowd is too big — but they know how to run a show. The move to a “proper” venue is never a fun one because of how much effort the venue has to put in to giving the illusion of security. And so it was that the lines to get in were needlessly long and notices were posted about all the things you were never going to bring to the venue anyway. At least the security guards were pretty chill.
But those are first world problems, and as mentioned this show was so good that it was worth a few necessary evils.
You know, the Max Martins and Dr. Lukes of the world won’t be around forever. Eventually pop music is going to need a new crop of European producers to come along and start pumping out earworms for the masses. It would be great if Zedd and Madeon — more on him down the page — were among that next generation.
It would be the most pleasant surprise of them all.
So, How Were the Openers? Those of you who make it out to more dance shows than I will probably disagree, but I thought the combo of Zedd and Madeon made for what was maybe the best non-festival EDM show I’ve ever been to in Houston. Madeon was just fantastic, his song selection flawless and his set enhanced by his very active style of DJing. Plus, he dropped in some sweet live keyboard playing to give the show a live component. I missed most of Alex Metric, unfortunately, but what I heard was solid.
So, Who Was the Surprise Guest?: Borgore showed up and played some songs, and while he’s still not a DJ I’d sit around and listen to, I can’t deny that, even in an abbreviated 30-minute slot, the man knows how to put together a set for maximum wildness. This was a much better surprise than Wiz Khalifa.
Personal Bias: I think Zedd and Madeon were the only good parts of the last Lady Gaga record.
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The Crowd: Young. Beautiful. The usual.
Overheard in the Crowd: “I’m so deaf,” said one person to another. “I know. It’s like it’s foggy,” replied her friend.
Random Notebook Dump: I’m so glad I didn’t bring a +1 to this show because there were already too many damn people on the floor.
Random Notebook Dump 2: Seriously, if Revention can prove that more than one person in the history of the venue has ever tried to bring a tent to a show before, I will eat my hat.