Porter Robinson Worlds Tour
With Giraffage and Lemaitre
Fillmore Miami Beach
Saturday, October 17, 2014
Better Than: The hazing we went through growing up because we liked Sailor Moon and Mario Bros. more than whatever it is "cool" kids do.
"Say my name and you can say it with honor."
We'd guess whenever Porter Robinson heard his name ring through his middle-school halls, it wasn't toned with regal regard.
It's nearly scientific fact that nerds and geeks grow up to be the coolest adults, and by the time that 22-year-old Robinson got to his breakout hit, "Say My Name," about midway through the final North American performance of his game-changing Worlds Tour, we'd decided he was on par with his idols Justice and Daft Punk in delivering one of the greatest dance music performances we've ever seen.
If you had actual friends growing up instead of a love of digital avatars, if you logged more hours partying than playing Final Fantasy, we're not sure you would've had such a transcendental experience. For us, though, and all the virtual-obsessed robot wannabes, it was a glorious moment in the sun. (And we don't get a lot of sun sitting at our computers.)
Before we go any further, let us acknowledge something our friends are quick to remember. A few months ago, we would have told you Porter Robinson wasn't very good.
We remember liking "Say My Name" when it came out, and then we remember brostep kind of ruining everything and "EDM" getting really popular. It got to this point where Robinson and Zedd were pretty much the same person in our minds. We were always confusing the "Clarity" producer with his fellow "prodigy," and Zedd makes cheesy songs with Ariana Grande, which isn't really our "thing."
So when people said to us "Kat, you really need to listen to Worlds," we'd pretty much be like "Whatever, n00b. Put a turd in a tutu, and it's still a piece of shit."
We did, eventually, listen to Worlds, and we were like "Oh shit, okay."
See also: EDM's Five Greatest Delusions
We also recently interviewed the guy and found even Porter Robinson was sick of being Porter Robinson. It turns out he detests the monochromatically-neon world of EDM, too. He was having anxiety attacks playing DJ sets full of music he was sick of playing.
So he put that shit behind him, set to work on an album devoid of inauthentic influence, let himself be the anime dork he always has been, and said, "Fuck it." Thank our 64-bit stars he did, because now, he's no longer an "EDM" artist. He's just an artist, and he gave technodorks a dance party they could go to sober without having to feel awkward.
Robinson's crowd is still very young and dresses like it's going to Ultra Music Festival. We did witness a dude projectile vomit, and there were a number of drunk bros fist-pumping and yelling things like "pussy" and "fuck" for no apparent reason. But while Robinson served moments of total gnarly melodic deconstruction, the overall vibe was more "pretty" than it was 2010 dubstep gloryfest. (Sorry, basics, no trap-meets-hardstyle remixes here.)
So he may not longer cater to his demographic's supposed tastes, but he isn't losing any fans either. Those kids were eating up the nostalgia, just as much as we were about to cry when "Fellow Feeling" came on and the lyrics appeared as if from the script of an RPG: "I cried, for I didn't think it could be true ... that we could not only evoke, but conjure a place of our own." Fuck, Porter Robinson just gets us.
The set at the Fillmore Miami Beach was Robinson's last stop of the Worlds Tour, and he was properly gracious to the audience for giving his passion project a great sendoff.
Having turned in his turntables for live production gear and a microphone, which he used to the fullest, giving each beloved track a fresh new attitude. He tweaked out "Flicker" until it sounded like the grimier parts of †, and it was cool how he'd weave parts of songs in and out of others, always teasing the audience with bits of "Easy" or "Sad Machine."
We expected a total visual and auditory experience from Robinson, more akin to Daft Punk than Skrillex, but no one could have prepared us for the warm and fuzzy feels. He hit us right in the personal past, man. (There was even a Mewtwo from Pokémon. Not even Yung Lean can step to this Internet god shit.)
Meanwhile, Worlds wasn't just the reboot of what's sure to be a long and successful artistic career. Or just a groundbreaking performance from an EDM star. It was the long-arriving confirmation that a generation of kids who felt lonely in middle school could actually turn their love of escapism into something beautiful and tangible and real.
The glory he achieved during last night's Worlds show will last forever in our memory. And with the help of uploaded videos, it is shared in the same sanctuary from which we spawned.
Porter Robinson's Setlist:
-"Sea of Voices"
-"Sad Machine" vs. "Legend of Zelda" vs. "Easy"
-"Sea of Voices"
-"Fresh Static Snow"
-"Years of War"
-"Say My Name"
-"Hear the Bells"
-"Lionhearted" vs. "Sad Machine"
-"Goodbye to a World"
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