deadmau5 / CUBE V3-2020 Tour
deadmau5 / CUBE V3 – 2020 North American Tour
Navy Pier Chicago
Making captivating and keep your attention electronic dance music for this day and age, is not necessarily easy, and also quite expensive, if done right, and with quality control in mind.
Joel Zimmerman (deadmau5), does this repeatedly, time and time again, with his variations and updates in all manner of his CUBES.
deadmau5 and his new CUBE V3, which he currently has on full display with this brief North American tour, with a stop at Chicago’s Navy Pier, requires ingenious technical savvy, a textbook knowledge of all manners of code, a unique and forward thinking view of graphic arts, and much more.
Have to say that Joel Zimmerman takes the requirement that is needed to pull off his performances further than most in the know EDM DJ’s.
The CUBE V3 is definitely a complex stage setup, even for the gargantuan hall that has it on display at Navy Pier, with a ceiling height of over 60 feet, and the width of a football field.
Even with those specs, deadmau5 and his CUBE V3 didn’t dwarf the hall at all, with an estimated 12,500 people in attendance, with a raptured revelry throughout the show, added with heavy duty bass and subwoofer thump throughout.
Joel is perched atop a massive rotating rig, with sophisticated LED screens obscuring him, and also allowing for the occasional big reveal, with trademark mouse ears, and sometimes without, depending on Joel’s mood.
The visuals are responsive, and on demand, as Joel prefers, which was all coded by Joel himself.
The spectacle of this unique performance elevates his dance music to a whole nother level, leaving you transfixed and immersed in sensory overload.
To say this is next generation technology would be an understatement.
deadmau5 and his CUBE V3 specs are mind boggling.
Programming details for this rig run on thousands and thousands of line of code, designed integrally by Joel, taking him 6 months to get just right, allowing deadmau5 impeccable speed at which he can display images at a moment’s notice, and take complex production qualities to an even higher level than previous designs with his Cubes.
Using a custom version of the visual development platform Derivative TouchDesigner, deadmau5 has produced a CUBE design that’s mammoth in scope, involving state of the art IDE tools, GPU systems, data handling digitalization suites, with an array of assistants perched at the soundboard ready to advance anything at a moment’s notice.
Joel has a whipsmart team at his disposal, not just one or two people at the soundboard- more like five to six.
Your average electronic artist uses playback technology for most of their visual, displaying imagery in tandem with a locked setlist, with not much innovation and spontaneity present, and all visuals in a constant loop.
With the CUBE V3, deadmau5 can cue up visuals in present time, leaving space for unpredictability during his sets and ensuring that no two shows are alike.
This is a show that by all intent and purposes, was meant to blow your mind, even without the use of mind altering chemicals.
It’s immersive, and done with such sophistication with high end audio, that you’re left drained, and exhausted, all in a good way.
On this tour with deadmau5 is artist Lights, who supplies the richness needed with her entrancing vocal for iconic songs such as “Raise Your Weapon”, elegant as all get out, with her fire engine red hair, and marching the lip of the stage to get the main floor riled up.
Openers Getter, and BlackGummy also provided their brand of EDM wallop, with sophisticated productions with backdrop LED screens.
All n’ all, a trailblazing show, from a most sophisticated trailblazing DJ such as deadmau5.
We all should expect as of now, nothing less from deadmau5.
Cheers- Bobby Talamine – Music Photographer