Ceiling stage lights bathed spectators in a hazy blue glow on October 7 as the Sylvee prepared to host a tour stop gig from North Carolina-born DJ Porter Robinson.
Robinson’s appearance coincided with his Live visit “Nurture”, a series of performances intended to promote the new album by the artist of the same name. For his performance, the DJ brought in a large video screen to backlight each song, something each of the performers on the show used in different ways.
The first to take the stage for the evening was James Ivy, a musician from New York who brought in a much more traditional style of performance with his use of acoustic guitar and vocals. As he explained to the audience during his performance, Ivy was very excited to join Robinson on his tour. This excitement was evident throughout her half-hour show as Ivy seemed comfortable and carefree on stage throughout.
While most of her songs were originals, Ivy also paid tribute to Robinson with a cover of “Something Comfort”, a track from “Nurture.” For her last song of the evening, Ivy debuted with her new song “Pushin ‘Through It”, which was due out a few hours later at midnight. This particularly excited the audience as loud applause was heard at the end of the play.
Ivy’s performance was underscored by an extra layer of nostalgia from her selection of accompanying visuals, which consisted of VHS-style personal videos of nature scenes, city streets, and classroom footage from high school. All around a solid opening, Ivy brought a blend of energy and emotion to her show that gave audiences a taste of the night to come.
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For the second act of the evening, Jai Wolf took the stage. Also from New York City, Wolf gave audiences his first taste of electronic music for the night, a sample of what was to come when Robinson later took the stage.
“Do you want to take a trip with me?” Wolf said before starting his set, inviting the audience to a deeper connection with music.
This travel theme largely summed up Wolf’s accompanying video, as the background scenes went through a variety of scenes ranging from bustling cities to empty space.
Many moments during the show featured footage of astronauts, which was ultimately followed by a screening of Wolf’s “Lose My Mind” music video that takes place in space.
While Wolf’s show was a welcome introduction to the electronic half of the evening’s music, the artist did very little performance outside of musicianship as he mostly stayed behind his DJ booth for the duration of the evening. show, a stark contrast to his colleagues who made more use of the stage space during their time in the spotlight.
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Finally came Robinson who took the stage to the delight of the audience. The Sylvee seemed to come to life with the early days of Robinson’s set, with thundering bass rhythms and searing treble harmonies filling the room.
By far the most versatile performer of the night, Robinson used her voice, along with a piano, keyboard and a range of other more technical DJ gear. At one point, Robinson even pulled out his personal MacBook to display a video from his webcam on the video screen.
Also taking advantage of the video screen, Robinson layered several of his songs with calming images of grass, birds, clouds, and other nature scenes, creating a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere. The scene also underwent a transformation with Robinson appearing as an activated underfoot video panel, bringing another dimension to the accompanying video.
These underfoot images such as a grassy field, water and even a computer keyboard, added an interesting aspect to the show. As Robinson told the crowd, The Sylvee was the first venue that had top row seats in which members of the audience had a direct view of the screen at ground level during its tour.
Many Robinson songs throughout the night revolved around themes of positivity as Robinson tackled inner monologues, encouraging each other and imagining happiness for those close to him, giving the show a very healthy and sweet overall feel.
Robinson made this point by taking the time to interact with the audience, at one point bursting into laughter during a performance of his piano piece “Blossom” in front of fans who kept screaming during the performance. representation. He also took advantage of many opportunities to display his easy stage presence by lying on stage, talking with the audience and dancing to the music.
When the show ended and the lights went dark, audience members called for an encore, chanting “one more song” from Robinson before he left. The performer obliged it with a performance of two other pieces before calling it a night, much to the crowd’s amusement.
The result was a concert full of light and uplifting moments, making it hard to contain a smile. Viewers and performers alike would certainly agree that Robinson’s tour stop at Madison certainly didn’t disappoint.