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Madeon @ The Electric Factory.

February 26, 2016

7H2A4643Text by Erik Whipp. Images by Magdalena Papaioannou.

The 21-year-old French DJ and music producer Madeon rose to fame from his “Pop Culture” mashup video, where he mixed upwards of 40 pop hits in real-time for YouTube in 2011. He quickly garnered himself a cult following, producing several hits in the house music genre and being graced with the ultimate head nod by DJ legend Pete Tong.

Last Saturday night, he dropped in to Philly on the second to last stop of his “Pixel Empire Tour.”

With no openers, Madeon hit the ground running, playing energetic tunes from his vast catalogue. The DJ jumped behind his three controllers and the crowd began to dance straight away to “Pay No Mind” and “Pixel Empire.” Surveying the crowd from front to back, a sea of hands, cellphones and pits of dancers were scattered amongst the 2,000+ attendees. Madeon masterfully pressed his two light-up drum pads, which then produced tantalizing colors to accompany the already hypnotic light show and visuals on the gigantic, diamond-shaped screen to his back. He twisted and twirled knobs from left to right filtering and sweeping his sounds to create impactful transitions between songs.

Madeon did not shy away from his older material, playing songs like “The City.” Everything was fair game and the crowd enjoyed themselves. Madeon, in unison with a drop of some sort, would throw his fist in the air and the fans would follow, as they screamed words of admiration. He maintained this balance between calm and climax within his set, contrasting multiple upbeat dance tunes, with relatively slow, melancholic dance ballads.

Before his encore, Madeon stepped in front of the audience to bow, about-faced and stood with his fist to chest for 4 minutes and 17 seconds. Throughout the entirety of the his motionless embrace, the crowd did not cease to applaud and holler words of endearment. He slowly reached his arm in front of him, turned to the crowd and lifted his index finger — the crowd went nuts at the thought of an encore. He plugged his DJ controller cable back into his computer and ended the show with a piano ballad turned house music jam.

Madeon smiled as the final applause erupted, held the microphone and yelled, “Thank you for coming, Philly! I hope to see you next time!”

He jumped in front of his DJ booth, bowed and hopped off to stage left.

The beauty in Madeon’s performance was not only his showmanship but also his ability to understand his audience. Throughout the approximately 2-hour show, there was constant dancing, fist pumping, jumping and shouting. Madeon personified the larger than life DJ through his keen sense of the audience’s desires, to his flawless execution of mixing, to his extended moment in the limelight.

Hopefully Madeon will venture across the pond once again to liven up the Philly dance floor with another unforgettable performance.

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