deadmau5 Pemberton Stage, Pemberton BC, July 19

deadmau5 Pemberton Stage, Pemberton BC, July 19
Photo: JPG Photography
It's unfair to apply rockist principles to EDM, and "we all hit play" debates clearly haven't hindered the genre's pop culture permeation. Still, it was hard not to wonder exactly what in the world deadmau5 was doing up there as he cued up a string of build-ups, pauses and thumping dance beats.

The producer born Joel Zimmerman stood atop a towering geometric pulpit, his oversized mouse helmet barely visible amidst the spinning lights and banks of video screens. The mau5kateer's low on-stage profile might not have been a problem if the light show had been more interesting, but the abstract CGI images that flashed up on the screens were seldom more memorable that your average screen saver or media player visualizer.

Even when Zimmerman took off his signature helmet, this was hardly a moment of unmasked intimacy, since he remained a pinprick of a silhouette. Whatever instrument he was playing (laptop? sampler? Nintendo 3DS?) was hidden from view.

Still, even if it was difficult to know where to look, the crowd was clearly eating up every minute of it. The claustrophobic throng that amassed at the main stage was the biggest of the weekend so far, while hula hoopers twirled towards the back of the field. Whether or not deadmau5 was simply hitting play clearly wasn't weighing heavily on the dancers' minds.

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