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Porter Robinson, Adventure Club, and The M Machine at Fox Theatre, Oakland [show review]

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Mar 8, 2012

Last Friday I had the incredible opportunity to attend Porter Robinson’s show at the Fox Theater in Oakland, CA. It blew my mind. I say “Porter Robinson’s show”, but to give him all the credit would be a heinous crime. His openers were none other than Adventure Club, who destroyed their set and deserve every bit the praise Porter does. It was a high energy show that left me feeling dazed and exhilarated, as well as exhausted and deafened.

The show began with a set by The M Machine, a San Francisco electro group signed to OWSLA, who did a great job warming up the crowd.

Their sound and stage presence were unlike any other EDM group I had ever seen; they had a very well organized and methodical approach to DJing. Their set reflected this as well, the transitions were super clean and everything was very… tidy. Also, they had a really awesome “M” over the stage that had a synchronized light show going on the whole time, and the central guy (there were three of them) had a seriously awesome mustache.

Despite the mustache and the light show, their set still lacked something. I think it was variation. The energy they put out was the same throughout their whole performance, and by the end, it did feel like we had been hearing a lot of the same stuff over and over. Some random person next to me put it best, saying, “Okay. I’m ready for Adventure Club now”.

But we weren’t ready. Nor could we have been; Adventure Club’s set was one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever experienced. They opened with Do I See Color, displaying right off that bat that they were not about to take it easy on our eardrums, and that they certainly were not going to go light on the bass.

The theater has a hardwood floor, and it felt like we were standing on a trampoline.

I could write for days about the individual works of art that they blended in their set, but all that’s important for you to know is that it was glorious. Something else that was very noteworthy was their stage presence. Their whole show was just a table, laptop, mixer, two guys, and a bottle of vodka. And that was all they needed. At the peak of their set, right at the drop of their Crave You remix, they both flung themselves into the audience and permanently sealed their spots in my personal list of biggest badasses. Their performance was only slightly marred by the moment that they threw some of the aforementioned vodka into the crowd… and directly into my awestruck eyeball.

Porter Robinson had his work cut out for him. I wasn’t even sure that it was actually possible to top his openers, because by this point everyone in the building had been jumping up and down for two hours already.

But, people went nuts. His drops were massive, his synths were smooth as silk, his mixes were flawless, his light show was staggering, and the energy in the room went to 11.

At one point in the show he worked in a build-up that literally lasted for 45 seconds before he dropped into a rendition of Levels that made me entirely forget how overplayed it is, as well as re-experience the enjoyment I had felt the first time I heard the song.

I think it’s incredible that he’s only 19, which then reminds me that Madeon is even younger, which then reminds me how jealous I am of them. In any case, Porter Robinson is an extremely talented DJ. He read the crowd, gave us what we wanted to hear, displayed his skill and showmanship and really gave an exceptional performance. What a night it was.

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Icarus

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