Porter Robinson and Madeon’s Halloween weekend show at Webster Hall, presented by Girls & Boys, was, at first glance, an ordinary night: crowds of jumping fans, the requisite neon gear, and ground-shaking bass. This was no typical show, however. Not only was it Madeon’s first U.S. appearance, but both he and Porter are teenagers. It was hard not to feel like a bit of an underachiever in the presence of such impressive talent; both 17-year-old pop/house maverick Madeon and 19-year-old rising star Porter Robinson put their skills on display in excellent sets that belied their young ages.
Show-goers were obviously eager to start their Halloween weekends, as they jostled to get into Webster Hall in time for Madeon’s set. While the smaller basement and upstairs rooms were in full party swing, neither could top the energy of the main ballroom. Costumed audience members crowded the bar in the back of the room to get in last-minute shots before Madeon’s set began, but everyone gravitated toward the stage when “Walking on a Dream” played and he began his set.
Despite his relative newness to the EDM scene, the crowd ate up everything Madeon did; his airy electro-pop set featured tracks from his somewhat small catalog (“Shuriken,” “For You”) and classic singalong tracks (“Music Sounds Better With You,” “Mr. Brightside”). Madeon finished off his set with his two most popular tracks to date: his “Raise Your Weapon” remix and YouTube sensation “Pop Culture.” The crowd sang along wildly to both, belting out the vocal samples in “Pop Culture” like they’d heard them countless times before (we guess that explains the six million-plus hits on YouTube).
Madeon may have seemed an unusual opener for Porter Robinson, given their different musical styles – but hearing them spin back-to-back totally worked. Porter Robinson takes Madeon’s computerized sounds and adds a harder, more dubby edge. His set used familiar vocals and endless wobble, combining tracks like Daft Punk’s “One More Time” with serious basslines. Porter switched between slowed-down dubstep tempos and super-fast remixes to keep the crowd on its toes, but it was definitely a dubstep crowd; a track like “Vandalism” would have felt somewhat out of place. Below, five need-to-know tracks from both his and Madeon’s sets.
1. Ocelot – Beating Hearts (Louis La Roche Remix)
This “Beating Hearts” remix sounded right at home among Madeon’s tracks: a bright synth and vocals to match. A perfect warm-up-the-crowd track.
2. Deadmau5 – Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Remix)
Madeon’s talents are in full display on this song. His poppy-glitchy sounds turn what was once a requiem for a relationship into a hopeful-sounding dance-floor killer. Needless to say, everyone and their mom sang along to this one.
3. Wolfgang Gartner – Anthology (Madeon Bootleg)
Madeon’s played this bootleg-on-steroids in other live sets we’ve heard, but he could play it forever and we’d never tire of it. He takes all of Wolfgang’s best elements and weaves them into one super-powered track.
4. Pendulum – The Island (Madeon Remix)
AN21 and Max Vangeli’s mix of “The Island” has gotten so overplayed that Madeon’s more laid-back version felt refreshing in a set. Everyone sang along happily, even if they only knew the chorus.
5. Madeon – Pop Culture
“Pop Culture” is aA track that needs no introduction. Madeon finished his set with the one-two punch of his “Raise Your Weapon” remix and the absolutely genius “Pop Culture” – if you think it sounds good on your computer’s speakers, imagine how great it was coming out of Webster’s sound system.
1. Lady Gaga – Edge of Glory (Remix)
Say what you will about Lady Gaga, but “Edge of Glory” has a high-flying chorus that begs to be belted out. Porter’s moody remix kept that singability while staying true to his style – in short, it was an ideal party-starting track.
2. Porter Robinson – Unison (Knife Party Remix)
Porter dropped the dub-tastic Knife Party remix of “Unison,” which fit far better with the overall vibe of his set.
3. Bombs Away – Big Booty Bitches (Dirtyloud Remix)
Porter loves to play this track in his sets, and for good reason: it’s fun as hell and got everyone singing along (even the non-big-bootied bitches).
4. Peace Treaty – Cal State Anthem (LAZRtag Remix)
“Cal State Anthem” has some of the most aggressive, dance-floor-killing synths around, and it was a huge crowd pleaser. From our view on Webster’s balcony, we loved watching Porter eat up the energy in the room.
5. Tim Berg – Seek Bromance (Porter Robinson Remix)
Overall, the show was definitely a good time, though Porter has more of a niche appeal than Madeon and his poppy aesthetic. We wish he had played more from his EP Spitfire, but the tracks he did spin got everyone rocking out.