Despite the length of the line outside and the scantily clad crowd clamoring to get into Webster Hall Friday night, Deadmau5’s two-and-a-half-hour-long house-heavy set left something to be desired. Friday nights at Webster Hall are generally known to be anything but ordinary, always something up either the performers’ or the promoters’ sleeves, but, in my humble opinion, someone should have called the exterminator. Stat. Please note, this is coming from someone who once, to the horror of her terrified friend, took great pains to rescue just such a rodent.
Deadmau5 was supposed to take the stage at 1 a.m. By now we all know set times are established to be broken, but the wait was more unbearable than usual. He couldn’t have gone on before 1:30, closer to quarter-of, and audience anticipation, and temp level, was on the rise. When he did finally saunter out, robe-clad with coffee mug in hand, the room went wild. ‘Tis true, this Canadian-based producer-DJ is well known and award winning. A prolific musician and absolute icon in his own right, maybe my criticism begins and ends in my own mind, but, considering the rave reviews from friends, this turned out to be more of a mousetrap (emphasis on “trap”) than a memorable experience. More of a scene than anything, the hype overshadowed delivery.
Whereas previous DJ sets I’ve attended here have been textured and varied, brimming with personality and possibility, this show was, to put it bluntly, stale. Yes, it entailed booty-moving beats and inspired partial nudity (caught a guy from my gym –- who often dons a pro-McCain muscle tee [cough] whilst weight-lifting– mid-strip), but that’s to be expected of a venue flooded with followers from our neighbor state of New Jersey. Yes, the bridge-and-tunnel crew invaded, fake tans, tits and IDs in full force. Ass-shaking aside, disappointment settled over myself and those with whom I’d come due to the fact that Deadmau5’s booming “mix” of music pulsated past 4 a.m. and warranted little more commentary than this. Most notable perhaps was the time it took to ditch the mouse-head: no more than twenty minutes and closer to ten! Quite a surprise.
Thus, amid the smiley, sun-soaked suburbanites thrilled by a night out in New York I rested an elbow on stage right (you read correctly, no onstage access, per Deadmau5), chin in hand, taking it all in as the floor vibrated below my high-heeled feet. I’ll grant him this; the visuals accompanying his set were neat, his big-eared imagery occupying the screen (a perfect fit for Webster’s recent renovations and the reason why press was reduced to pit placement). The myriad of gigantic red balloons being batted around were a nice touch, but, for those who abstained from taking ecstasy and dropping acid, entertained (distracted from the monotony?) for only so long. Truth be told, the best bit was witnessing the constantly updated and hilariously critical Twitter posts submitted by fellow attendees who will remain unnamed. Hopefully his Saturday night set blew his Friday night semi-fail out of the water. I can’t say, though. I most certainly wasn’t there.
Photos by THE CULTURE OF ME