Zedd at House of Blues, 10/30/2013
I may not know what Zedd looks like, but I think he represents the future.
Let's break down that sentence a bit before you grab your pitchforks and light your torches.
On a platform at the back of the House of Blues stage, surrounded by giant video walls, lights, and lasers, Zedd barreled his way through a 90-minute set full of crowd-pleasing hits while being little more than a silhouette onstage. He addressed the crowd a few times -- typical DJ things like asking the crowd to jump and make some noise -- but for the most part he was content to let the massive sounds and impressive lighting display do the talking for him.
And it was interesting. At times it was even captivating. That shadow onstage, armed with a hard drive full of tracks and a laser-light show on steroids, put on a hell of a performance, no live instruments needed.
Live music isn't dead, but with performers like Zedd moving up in the world, the word "concert" is certainly evolving.
As with any concert, there are two factors to consider here: the music and the performance.
On the music front, Zedd could basically do no wrong. He was already good when he played Something Wicked last year, but now it feels like he's playing on a completely different level. There were no lulls in his set, no moments of reflection, no high-minded journey to a higher spiritual realm; this was pure party music, fitting for a show where a healthy chunk of the audience showed up in costume.
It was a set full of singalongs, from pop hits by Icona Pop and Capital Cities to EDM favorites by Benny Benassi and Swedish House Mafia. The biggest singalongs were reserved for his own singles, of course, with the crowd really coming alive during "Clarity" and the show ending "Spectrum."
Watching the sold-out crowd lose their minds during "Spectrum," one can't help but think House of Blues lucked out here; it's not hard to imagine Zedd playing Bayou Music Center the next time he comes to town.
Of course, because Zedd is a guy who knows what his crowd wants and aims to please, the most interesting part of his set (in this reviewer's opinion) was a ridiculous four-song run that saw him hitting Nari & Milani's "Atomk," Kanye's "Mercy," a trap remix of "Clarity," and "Niggas in Paris" all in a row. Hip-hop at home in an electro-house set? It works, and the youth love it.
Review continues on the next page.