Don’t Pay Them Any Mind: Madeon Plays Emo’s East
Photo by: Emily Booher
By: Emily Booher
What comes to mind with the word adventure? Is it a destination? A location? A rush of adrenaline? For many, it’s the desire to experience something that makes them feel alive. And for the crowd at Emo’s that first Friday of February, it was definitely something experienced by all.
A perpetual symphony of sounds blast you with color as the music seems to come to life in a kaleidoscope of color before your eyes and ears. A place in a third dimension- a realm more brilliant than our wildest daydreams. Dance beat drops felt more like getting showered with buckets of Nerds candy than electronic sounds. The set list rose to dramatic climaxes as the listeners were taking part in an epic journey through what felt like a video game.
Watercolor cityscapes, vast desert horizons and mountainous terrains shifted past on triangular screens behind the console. Each landscape invited us into the world that lives in the subconscious of French DJ/producer and instrumentalist, Hugo Leclercq, better known as Madeon. Manning launch pads (electronic sampling instruments), a synthesizer, and mixers like his own personal space ship, the audience was taken on a journey through his neon colored stream of consciousness.
At the age of 16, Leclercq began releasing remixes online, but really grew in popularity when he released his “Pop Culture Live Mashup” performed on a Novation Launchpad on Youtube. Receiving more than a million views in less than a week, his popularity began to rise, and he released his first EP in 2012, which was followed a few years later by his debut record titled Adventure. His list of concert dates, entitled “The Pixel Empire” tour, takes us on a journey through his colorful debut, as his first headlining tour.
Leclercq’s positive energy radiates through his set, not just DJing, but using live instrumentation to make Adventure truly come to life. His lyrics are fun, and effervescent. Even audience members who hadn’t a clue about his music, were singing, “Tell me which side you’re on” to his hit single, You’re On, by the time the last chorus came around. His euphoria, and nostalgia was contagious, and his music, though catchy, had a taste of sincerity, even if he wasn’t even the one singing. And although Leclercq’s music doesn’t feel like average EDM, it still contains some of its romantic essence, like in his lyrics to Only Way Out, “When no one else is around, I’ll lift you back off the ground, and since we came here together, we’ll leave with each other now.”
With what felt like an epilogue to the musical journey, he finished off his final song with a synth solo, and a slow dinner party-esque piano scale. He graciously thanked the crowd and walked off stage. It felt almost too casual after the fantastical spectrum of music that had exploded before the eyes of a sold out crowd.