On Friday, November 11th 2016, EDM giants Porter Robinson and Madeon brought their historic Shelter Live Tour to Philadelphia at the Electric Factory, along with opening acts Robotaki and Danger. This date sold out quickly, and another date that was later added on November 19th to meet the overwhelming demand for a chance to see the performers live promptly sold out as well. I was lucky enough to attend both dates; the review is from the first show and photos are from the second.
The anticipation of this show was unprecedented. Porter Robinson’s established repertoire for producing very emotional and unique shows from his Worlds tour combined with the talent of France-based Madeon gave fuel to the fan frenzy when their joint tour was announced. Some have compared this collaboration as the “Watch the Throne of synth-pop.”. I have been using that analogy to explain my exuberant zeal to others in the days leading up to the show.
Walking to the dimly lit Electric Factory, the anticipation was swirling around in the air as devout Porter Robinson and Madeon fans had their eyes glued to the stage. The general admission floor was already 15 rows deep as soon as doors opened. Everyone in the Electric Factory that night knew they were about to experience something special.
Robotaki began the night with a surprisingly delectable opening set. Paying respects to Dillon Francis, Louis the Child, Daft Punk, and others, he played to the music tastes of the Philadelphia crowd and delivered a well-versed set, even debuting his new original “Right Time.” Having not heard of Robotaki before, he has cemented his place on my musical radar.
Soon after Robotaki ended his set, the mysterious Danger came on to the stage. Wearing a mask with two white beams of light in place of eyes, his poise and song choice drove the mood towards a more gritty and raw atmosphere. Danger delivered tracks that dug deep with bass that penetrated through my inner core.
Once Danger finished up his set, crew members began final checks of all the equipment as the crowd seemed ready to burst from excitement. Even the smooth ambient vibes of Tycho playing in the background failed to calm the overflowing anticipation of the crowd. Finally, the lights dimmed as roars rocked the Electric Factory’s floor. It was time.
Beginning with an ambient intro, elements of the duo’s collaboration slowly came together until the unique vocal cut of “Shelter” at last transitioned to the start of the show. All of the built-up anticipation released after the first drop, not just from the fans but from the famous duo as well. Soaring high into the air, Porter and Madeon both could not contain their energy as “Shelter” rocked every inch of the venue.
All of the subtle live edits to songs made the show truly unique. One that stuck with me the most was the remix of Madeon’s “Pay No Mind” with the eternal Porter Robinson classic “Easy”. A combination of my two favorite songs from each respective artist was something I never knew I wanted so badly.
Afterword, an 8-bit voice asking “Is anyone there?” led into the most iconic song from Porter’s Worlds LP, “Sad Machine”. The bright synths rocked over the crowd as they sung along to every word of the song. However, for the second drop of the song, the duo pleasantly surprised the crowd by replacing the lead melody from “Sad Machine” with the vocal cuts from Madeon’s “You’re On”.
The indescribable energy of being in a concert hall surged throughout the night. The cycle of fans feeding the artists energy that they then gave back to the crowd never diminished, enduring through to the encore. Even before the duo walked off stage, the crowd immediately unified in a “One-More-Song!” chant. Soon after, they came back on stage with Porter solely on piano as Madeon provided the vocals for “Shelter”. Towards the end of the second verse, Madeon slightly tweaked the lyrics to end with “I’ll be ok” which, as many devout Porter fans can guess, lead to Porter Robinson’s “Language” to finish off an exceptional show.
For tour dates and more information, visit https://shelterlivetour.com/