It only took a split second of the lights dimming for an entire auditorium in LA to shout joyously for Porter Robinson and Madeon’s live headlining slot this last Sunday. The second LA date of their nationwide Shelter Tour went off without a hitch, and it became that much more special after news surfaced that this collaborative effort between the two would be a temporary affair.
Robinson and Madeon’s collaboration was meant to take everyone by surprise, and the lack of consistent hype made the song, animated video and performance all feel fresh and exciting. After opening with the tour’s title track, the two laid down a slew of their own original material, introducing live deconstructions like Madeon’s edit of Flicker from Worlds and changing the keys of a few acapellas to bring new life to an instrumental track, as well as transition smoothly between songs.
The two took their setup from the Microsoft Theater over to the Shrine Auditorium; a venue that proved to be more suitable for their live electronic hybrid than the vast expo hall that hosts many high profile DJs in Town. Though chairs were provided, not a person was sitting when the main acts took to the stage. Hilariously enough, the fact that all seating was assigned made it so that everyone had their own space to dance about.
From our standpoint though, it seemed like the two headliners on the stage were having the best time out of anyone. The two are known to work a DJ controller like nobody’s business, so they had little issue with moving their skills to a broader set of instruments and utilizing their own voices to sing a couple tunes.
Madeon and Robinson brought a simple but clever scheme into their visuals; there was one giant screen behind them that would play one and another scheme in front of each of the two that provided some sort of contrast. The zealous energy that they both provided in front of these picture frames of sorts made for their own pieces of eye candy.
While we should be careful not to drain the integrity of the Shelter tour by comparing it to other shows, it truly felt like an experience akin to Daft Punk’s Alive 2007. There wasn’t a giant pyramid or helmets involved, but the strict attention to musical detail and powerful focus on an abstract narrative made it so that the two deserve the same mark of respect. While we’re sad to know that the two are not making this permanent, the knowledge that Shelter was only a moment in their history made standing in the middle of the auditorium that much more special for everyone.