When going to see a live act, it’s not very often that you get to witness something that is so remarkable, something that is so close to perfection, that the combination of audio and visual prowess can be truly deemed a work of art.
In this case, Hugo Leqlercq AKA Madeon and Porter Robinson AKA Porter Robinson have created something so unique that you would be hard pressed to find an experience that even came close to what I had the pleasure of witnessing last night (07/02/2017) at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town, London.
Madeon, a French born producer and DJ whose debut album Adventure, released in March 2015 is best known for his use of chopped vocals and a very distinct form of house music that has clearly taken influences from other genres like pop and disco, to create some incredibly up-beat tunes. The fact that he produced multiple songs on Lady Gaga’s third record “ARTPOP” just further shows how diverse and interesting his production capabilities can be.
Porter Robinson, a US born producer best known for his single’s Language and Easy Ft. Mat Zo and his debut album Worlds, have propelled him into international fame and three of his records reached #1 on Beatport before he was 21. His style is a mixture of synthpop and dream pop where catchy melodies are interspersed with an ethereal atmospheric quality frequently found in dream pop.
The two producers collaborated and released a song named “Shelter” in August 2016. This sparked the creation of a US tour and select dates in Europe, Australia & Asia. Named “Shelter Live” this tour brings together two different yet similar production styles, and watching both Madeon and Porter on stage performing and mixing their songs together live was like nothing else.
With support coming from Chicago based duo Louis the Child, best known for their singles “It’s Strange” and “Fire”. These guys were a great opening act, warmed up the crowd into a frenzy with their slick mixing and energetic stage presence. I have been wanting to see them for some time now and the fact that they got to open for Madeon & Porter was the icing on top. The crowd was singing along throughout their set, and their inventive use of colour not only via the lights but the two LED panes behind them led to some of the best and most vibrant visuals I have seen from an electronic producer bar maybe David Guetta a few years back.
Louis the Child working their magic!
Finally, it was time for the main event, people had travelled from all over to witness this show as it was their only UK date making it that much more special and one certainly not to be missed.
Opening with the gentle chords from the tour’s namesake track “Shelter”, it eased us in until they both walked onto stage took up position; Madeon on the left & Porter on the right where they dropped us right into the intro version, with chopped vocals from Porter’s “Divinity” the crowd was singing every word and Madeon, who’s vocals are featured on the track could barely be heard over the singing from the crowd.
Up next Pay No Mind, one of my favourite tracks from Adventure with an acapella version of Robinson’s Easy taking the crowd to a new level. The build up from Easy with Pay No Mind being played gently until the double drop where Easy came into its own and the Shelter version being played mixed in with Robinson’s remix of Nero’s The Thrill was outstanding, they genuinely made a great song infinitely better.
Slowly working through their catalogue and finding innovative ways to mix each other’s work into their own was breath-taking. Madeon’s vocal ability, while not outstanding is perfectly suited to the sort of music both producers are the best at making. Porter’s atmospheric sounds blend perfectly with Madeon’s high energy synths.
After a brief break the encore really set this show apart from other live electronic gigs, going back into the show’s namesake tune, the passion from both the boys on stage and the crowd was almost overwhelming, with Madeon providing live vocals for Shelter one last time before the instantly recognisable synths and chords from one of Porter’s best known songs – Language – being dropped on us like a wave crashing over the crowd. At this point everyone, myself included went absolutely mental, before they finally ended with the last few chords of Language being played by Porter.
You’re On was a favourite of the night at the Live version is just so vastly different from the Album version and is perfectly suited to a high energy gig with such a responsive crowd.
But the song that stood out the most for me was Madeon’s Pop Culture, this is the song that brought him to fame a few years back when he posted a live mashup of a bunch of songs he liked and seeing it live again, but this time reworked, with new elements added was like nothing else.
Before arriving I thought that most people would be there to see Porter Robinson as many people I know personally have never even heard of Madeon, but once I arrived and spoke to fellow fans I realised that it was pretty much a 50/50 split and it was great to share such a unique experience with the real fans of these two outstanding electronic producers.
The way these guys have managed to intertwine elements from both of their catalogues to create some incredible Shelter live-mixes of each other’s music is astounding. You can really see the passion that these guys have and the attention to detail is phenomenal.
Special shout out to Ryan Sciaino AKA Ghostdad who provided the live visuals for the tour, his work is something special and his incredible use of hardware and software to create visual experiences like no other are fantastic. Any budding live visual designer should aspire to take influence from this guy.
Finally, I knew this was going to be a show I could not miss as soon as I heard it was coming to the UK and boy was I not wrong. Outstanding support from Louis the Child, a great venue which I hadn’t been too before, the O2 Forum in Kentish Town. And two young producers; Madeon & Porter Robinson, who can only go from strength to strength. If you have the opportunity to see these guys in the future at a gig or festival I implore you not to miss it you will not regret it.
Reviewed by Callum French of CJFM Presents, for more like this and to stay up to date with our weekly radio show give us a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CJFMPresents/
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