Written by Abel Carmona
Sep 16, 2011 at 08:00 PM
What’s up boys and girls, I headed out to downtown to check out Deadmau5 tonight. I figured it would be something a little different than I usually cover, being that I tend to stick to mostly hard rock and metal shows. But I had seen this guy Deadmau5, who wears his lit up mouse eared helmet while he plays a few times on TV and thought might be interesting to check out. It’s been over 15 years if not more since I have set foot in a dance club, but walking in to the Verizon tonight I felt like I was stepping back in time.

I as walked on to the floor area, the music was already bumping. There were these two girls on stage behind a DJ mixer spinning some tracks and they had maybe about two or three hundred people there on the floor dancing around. As I said I felt like I was back in some night club, there were girls all clubbed out in neon glow jewelry and crazy outfits as well as plenty on people wearing mouse ears. Some looked like Disney’s Mickey Mouse ears, some were glow in the dark that they were selling at the merch booth and then there were those who you could tell were true fans. People who took the time and effort to make their own light up mouse helmets, which I have to admit, were pretty cool and impressive.

The music quieted down and the girls walked off the stage, a few stage hands came out and moved some stuff around pretty quickly and next thing I know is the lights go dark. Out comes Tommy Lee and DJ Aero, yes that Tommy Lee from motley Crue. I knew he was going to be playing tonight and again thought it would be interesting to see. After a few seconds of getting set up and giving the crowd a “What’s up Houston” two video screens lit up on both sides of them as their set started.

Now I’ve never been one who’s been big on the whole DJ/Club/Dance music thing, but when they started I thought it was pretty cool, and had some good beats going. But for me this type of music starts to get really repetitive really fast, so I find it hard to tell you whether or not it was good or bad. What I can say is the crowd was really into the music and people were dancing and jumping all over. Tommy and Aero played for about an hour; afterward another DJ named Excision came on. His music again to me started out ok, and I found myself liking it a little more since he used heavier beats and more bass but again got to be very repetitive.

About the time he came off stage, I was started to think that maybe I shouldn’t have covered this show since for the most part it wasn’t my kind of music and I was finding myself a little bored. I noticed that a curtain that had been set up in the back was now brought to the front and covered the rest of the stage. Now from what I had seen on TV of Deadmau5 I knew had had a pretty big set up, but I had no idea until the lights once again went dim and the music started to play.

A very slow and melodic tone coming from the stage, with lights flashing from behind the curtain so you could see the outline of the massive platform along with some others on both sides. Then lights started shooting out from behind the curtain as the music got a little faster rolling in to a drum beat that when it got to its climax the curtain dropped and there was Deadmau5 sitting high upon his stage with his mouse helmet glowing neon green around the edges.  Now when I say high, I do mean high. Deadmau5 stage set that he stands on to play probably stood about 15 ft high if not more, which puts him just about right in the center of the stage both vertically and horizontally.

As he continued to play, you really couldn’t get the full effect of his stage set until a few minutes in to his set. Deadmau5 would hit certain beats or cords and the stage would just come alive with lights, and not just stage lighting like I’m used to seeing at most shows. No, this thing was top to bottom, side to side, full stage LED screen along with his console and side consoles, along with strobe, stage and spot lights. During some parts of songs the lighting was so bright it was like being outside in daylight.

After being floored by his stage, I have to say I was once again impressed this time by Deadmau5’s helmet. When the show first started it was just lit around the edges which I thought that’s all there was to it, but I was way wrong. This thing was technically amazing in itself, upon reading more about it the helmet or Mau5head as he calls it weights close to ten pounds and has a full LED front as well as computer control panel. During the show he would go from just the outline to full faced with eyes and mouth, to different scenes that matched his stage set.

As he played on, I really found myself getting in to the show and enjoying watching Deadmau5 up there like some type of scientist at the helm of his mad laboratory’s control panel. I also found myself liking his music a lot more than the opening acts. Deadmau5 tends to switch things up a lot more quickly than the others did, as to not keep a repetitive beat from going on and on and on. After reading some on his bio, I also found out that for one Deadmau5 hates to be referred to as a DJ, and I can respect that due to fact of the show he puts on and also because of the fact that he doesn’t use CDs or other peoples music like most DJ’s.

Deadmau5 apparently brings an arsenal of things for his music that he creates on a nightly basis. Now the general sound of song may stay the same but it is never exactly the same from night to night.  So each show is just a little different than from the night before. As I have said before in other reviews, I love music but I am definitely a very visual person and tonight’s show was visually astonishing. Even though I am not in to the whole dance music scene I would not hesitate to come see Deadmau5 again if or when he ever comes back in to Houston…