The Language Tour Lands in Ontario – London/Toronto Review
Last week I was given the absolute pleasure of seeing Porter Robinson, The M Machine, and Mat Zo play back-to back shows here in Ontario – one in London and one in Toronto. Now for those of you who haven’t the funniest about what kind of crowd encompasses these two locations, allow me to give you the skinny real quick.
London is sort of Canada’s Boulder, Colorado if you will, as it houses the largest accumulation of party-rabid students in the country. The Music Hall, the city’s only legitimate large scale venue, plays as the watering hole for the aforementioned neon-oriented student body and on the night the Language Tour rolled in, the place was somehow livelier than it usually is when school’s in session. The crowd was saturated with die hard fans of all three artists on the tour, so the place was packed much earlier than I had anticipated, and as a result the atmosphere was as overwhelmingly sweaty and moist as it was energetic.
Toronto on the other hand is much more attune to the live music ambiance of other major metropolitan cities – always packed, full of both fans and clueless posers, and loud as all hell. The Sound Academy was the venue of choice that night, which for hose that know the venue, equates to a narrow, yet long, dance floor and one of the most powerful sound systems our city holds. The added stage space allowed for The M Machine to bust out their full live setup, which involved Andy controlling the lights, Swardy manning the samples and effects, and Eric at the mixing helm. It also came complete with their massive M visualizer, which I would later find out Andy built from scratch. It also allowed for the tour’s tech team to bust out every piece of sound and lighting that they had in the truck, which gave a much needed seizure boost to both Porter and Mat’s sets that night; something that was a little lacking the night before in London.
In terms of their specific sets, Porter’s and Mat’s didn’t deviate much from one night to the next, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Since I don’t listen to much of his music, or the genre he dwells it, I can’t really get into much technicalities about Mat’s set, other than the fact that his mixing game is very much on point and that he had both crowds eating out of the palm of his hand. Porter’s sets were not unlike what I’ve seen from him in the past – filled with his own signature creations combined with his now infamous ‘clusterfuck’ tracks that comprise of tantalizing, yet tasteful, pre-edited mashes of every one’s favorite big name bangers. The only difference was that the ‘big name bangers’ were all new and up to date from what I had previously seen, which of course is a clear cut sign that Porter is anything but lazy when it comes to both his production and DJ crafts.
The M Machine on the other hand played two very different shows. Again, since the London stage was not fit enough to support their live set, the Music Hall crowd was privy to an Eric/Swardy DJ set that featured quite a bit of their own music combined with the usual delectable picks from around the Electro-House world. In Toronto however, I finally got to see the trio whip out their full live shebang, which allowed them to flex out almost a full set’s worth of their own originals, which included live vocals, sampling, their light show and a slurry of on the spot edits. The boys were also nice enough to hangout at the merch stand almost the whole night after their opening slot, whereby they took the time to engage their fans face-to-face, sign some autographs, and even witness a couple getting engaged.
All in all both shows we’re rowdy as rowdy can be, and we’re stern testaments to the power and numbers of Porter Robinson’s fan base. The kid has come a long way since his early Wildcat days back in North Carolina, and watching him powerfully (and professionally) lead his own tour Was both a testament to his maturity as an artist, and a clear-cut sign that he has no inclinations of slowing down his rise to super stardom anytime soon.