Concert Reviews

Porter Robinson at the Ogden Theatre, 7/7/12


See Also: Porter Robinson Q&A

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Porter Robinson slowly drew his hands up as the strobes began to flicker and the crowd yelped in anticipation. The track? Robinson chose a remix of Janet Jackson's "Go Deep," which has a hook that states, "We go deep, and we don't get no sleep." That's precisely what every person last night in the sold-out Ogden Theatre was doing at that moment. As the build up led into the drop, and the lights timed perfectly in-sync with the beat, the entire place went deep and erupted in dance music rapture.

In his immaturity, the nineteen-year-old Robinson is quickly climbing the ranks of DJ stardom. The phenom hails from North Carolina and has packed quite a punch into this tour, which showcases not only his talent behind the mixers but an equally impressive lineup of openers on the bill. Following the M Machine and Mat Zo, Robinson strode on stage around 11:30 p.m., backdropped by two flanking "PR" light logos that blasted our retinas for the entire night, searing the Porter Robinson brand into our memory banks.

Switching things up constantly on the mixer, Robinson tackled the past fifteen years of electronic music by sampling choice hooks from late '90s hip-hop tracks and classic electro hits. As par for the course, Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" quashed any doubts that Robinson has forgotten where his roots, whereas his use of Knife Party's "Destroy Them With Lasers" brought things back to the present.

Robinson offers fresh breath into this constantly evolving world of electronic music. His spry stage presence is not only audience engaging, but also relatable. Unlike the cocky press-play DJs of the current (we are looking at you Deadmau5 -- directly at you), Robinson's efforts present a fun understanding that his time in the spotlight is now, and he better make it memorable if he wants to remain there. By sampling audience favorites like Dada Life's "Kick Out the Epic Motherfucker" and Nero's "Innocence," he is able to blend his unique, un-anticipatable drops in while still maintaining the integrity of the track. It's nice. It works. And Robinson kills it.