Event Review: Porter Robinson, Mat Zo & The M Machine Speak Your Language 6/24/12
Remember that time that I said The Language tour was going to provide one of the most mind-bending line ups of the year? So it turns out that I was totally right. This triad (musical pun intended) delivers an audio-sensory experience that dazzles and delights through mindful manipulation of light and sound.
The M Machine delivered a live set complete with their giant home made M that lit up on command in tune with the intricately intertwined grooves of electro house and nu disco that trickled through the crowd like a series of flurries through fallen leaves. Plowing through their small but stunning discography and sprinkling in surprises like “Everything In Its Right Place” by Radiohead, the trio’s stage performance perfectly built and dropped in complete sonic and aesthetic unison. The experience of this wholeness was not lost on an audience that preferred to take moments to observe and revel in between bouts of dancing.
In a fabulous follow up, Mat Zo took to the stage, flooding the audience in a sea of all-consuming purples, pinks and house heavy beats. Commanding with technical mastery, he teased the crowd with extended crescendos that taunted and teased, eventually leading them into a series of manic jumps when he was ready to satisfy their hunger. Incorporating a plethora of sounds, the room sizzled, crunched, stomped, boomed and swayed throughout a set that most definitely “rocked the funky beats.” At one point, a group of ladies finagled their way on stage and led the crowd in dance until security kindly asked them to stand down. Zo glanced over and let out a mischievous grin, seemingly pleased to have inspired some peaceful rebellion.
After two incredible openers, when the beloved baby mastermind finally appeared the crowd was ready to rage. Porter Robinson started strong and kept the energy level at 11 until the very end. Not only did he rock his daring original tracks but those bootlegs he gave away made a welcome appearance. His 2 minute electro bootie of “Bass Cannon” sparked a frenzy of jumps in the perfectly unified crowd that clung to the thud of the bass that erupted from giant speakers and echoed out through their possessed bodies. After a robust finish, Robinson returned and fired up a “Language” encore that paralyzed with stunning visuals and an all-consuming sense of futuristic nostalgia, leaving that fuzzy afterglow feeling in his wake.
For all their technical mastery, the acts were dis-serviced by the limits of their venue. Had they been given a larger warehouse like space, the insane visuals would have truly washed over like a wave of euphoria and the acoustics would have echoed in the consuming thud that ravers live for. And as far as capacity, the lads of the Language Tour have risen beyond small time venues and are ready for a larger stage, at least among their adoring fans in the Northeast. Here’s hoping these three meteoric innovators return soon and hit the scene in a way that catalyzes their aesthetic.