Live Review: Sorry, Mickey. Deadmau5 is Our New Favorite Mouse.
Who: Deadmau5

When: 8:00 p.m. Sunday, October 4, 2009

Where: Showbox at the Market

Deadmau5 (pronounced "Dead Mouse") is certainly the man of the moment. Toronto's progressive house producer rose to superstardom seemingly overnight for his hypnotic tracks and of course, his penchant for donning a giant mouse head during performances.

For some inexplicable reason, a combination of dance music and rodents drive people nuts. Case in point: Fans were lined up around the block to get into last night's sold-out show, many sporting mouse ears or giant Mickey-style gloves. Scalpers were selling tickets for double the price with ease. I can't remember the last time I saw the venue so packed, especially on a Sunday.

DJs/producers often make great music, but aren't necessarily that exciting to see live. But Deadmau5, who agrees with that sentiment, has often been quoted as saying that he's rather not fly halfway across the world to "hit a spacebar and do a couple of fist pumps." The guy aims to put on a real performance. And it turns out, he truly delivers.

Deadmau5 appeared onstage in a crystal-encrusted mouse mask--a more glamorous version than his usual red or black pieces. Fans roared as he grinned--or at least, his mask grinned--and stormed through his new album For Lack of a Better Name. He leapt, danced, and yes, even fist pumped, with boundless energy. The screens behind him showed millions of grinning mice heads rolling rapidly across the floor. Let me tell you, there aren't many things in this world that are creepier (or more intriguing) than a giant mouse putting on an electronic show.

Twenty minutes into the set, Deadmau5 removed his mask and soon after took off his jacket to reveal a skinny white guy named Joel Zimmerman. He obviously wasn't as visually stimulating as his alter ego, but he still kept the crowd rapt with attention as he drew from his prolific collection of tracks. Forty minutes into the set, the dance floor took on the nauseating smell of body odor and spilt drinks. Regardless, the show was absolutely phenomenal, thanks to the wealth of audio and visual stimulation Deadmau5 had to accost the crowd with.

The producer is currently at that fortunate but often fleeting stage in his career where it appears he can do no wrong, as evidenced by last night's show. When he incorporated Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" into his set, fans went insane as though he'd invented the song himself right there on the spot. Guy's got 'em all wrapped around his tech-savvy finger. But Deadmau5, who has actually been creating music for over a decade, hopefully has enough sense that he doesn't let the hype distract him too much from his future endeavors.

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