Porter Robinson and Madeon @ Orpheum Theatre

Porter Robinson and Madeon
November 15th, 2016 at Orpheum Theatre

By: Moin Khwaja

After the release of his hit debut album Worlds, DJ Porter Robinson teamed up with close friend Madeon (Hugo Leclercq) to work on new music together and on August 11th, 2016 “Shelter, the product of their collaboration, was released. Seen as a perfect mixture of Porter’s more worldly and atmospheric style and Madeon’s flow, the single quickly gained popularity and the duo announced a collaboration tour where Porter’s Worlds and Madeon’s Adventure would be played side by side.

It was pouring out on the Tuesday night when the Shelter Tour made it to Boston. First on the bill at the Orpheum Theatre was Robotaki. A Toronto based DJ, he played a set that mashed up current top songs with popular throwbacks. With only a single visual aid to assist him and a very small crowd, his set left much more to be desired. The second opener was French DJ Danger, who used intense drum beats and wore an ominous black outfit and mask. These two openers executed very different sets but served as a preview for what the headliners would bring, one showing their mixing side and the other showing off their original ideas.

As the lights dimmed for the headliner, a quiet piano played and gradually got louder in the darkness. Both Porter and Madeon made their way to the stage, which was fully equipped with two live edit stations with accompanying sound boards, pianos, and drums. As soon as the DJs got into position, all of the lights in the room went off and their single “Shelter” started playing. Using a giant screen behind them, they had the tour’s color, neon green, flashing as the whole room danced to the song. Even though they were confined to their stations, it didn’t stop them from jumping around and expressing themselves when playing their instruments. For most of the show, the duo would play one of their songs as the other mixed on top of it. The most notable songs they played were “Sad Machine x You’re On and “Divinity x Technicolor.

“Sad Machine” is one of the most vibrant songs that Porter has ever written, showing off his mastery of modern audio programs and synthesizers which then mix with “You’re On,” which is mostly composed of vocal tracks and Madeon’s singing; the same can then be said about “Divinity x Technicolor.” For some songs, one of the duo would play the other’s song while putting their own twist on it. Madeon did his own edit on Porter’s “Flicker” and Porter did one on Madeon’s “La Luna.” Their song pairings were often unpredictable, mixing “Fellow Feeling and Icarus,” one of which is a soft orchestra of strings and the other a heavy EDM song. My favorite combination of the night was “OK and Lionhearted.” While Madeon’s “OK” has the same style as Porter’s track “Lionhearted,” by the latter carries a lot more lyrics but the duo basically swapped the primary function of these tracks and let the lyrical content of “OK” serve as the focus while “Lionhearted was the backing track. The duo ended on Porter’s “Goodbye to a World”; It felt like the perfect ending to an amazing night, but the duo came back out to hundreds of people shouting for an encore. Returning to a lone piano at center stage, the duo played another amazing, acoustic rendition of “Shelter” with Porter on piano and Madeon singing. As the night ended the duo thanked everyone for coming out. With Madeon stating he’s going to be releasing a new album next year and Porter working on his new one, both should be back in Boston sometime in the future but this show was not one to soon be replicated.

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