Camden Roundhouse, London on Monday 1 September 2014

With its unique 'winners only' ticketing system and a reliably heavyweight range of acts, 'iTunes Festival' gigs have become a recognisable and fiercely successful late addition to the UK’s already packed calendar. This year sees the likes of Ed Sheeran, Rudimental and Kylie Minogue headlining the Roundhouse over the month-long jolly, but first, it's time for one of the world's biggest and most brilliant DJs to take centre stage. No biggie, then.

Boasting an arena-worthy LED show (no coincidence, perhaps, given that he's still fresh from a recent headline set at Clapham’s SW4 festival), Joel Zimmerman – deadmau5 to everyone but his mum – arrives on stage, backed by an eye-popping flurry of hellish, medieval-styled visuals, smoothly kicking into 'Gula' and launching a set that features a healthy smattering from expansive, two-disc new album 'While (1<2)', as well as a career-spanning collection of progressive house bangers.

While the Roundhouse is suitably hyped and well up for a party, the nature of deadmau5's lengthy, meandering take on modern dance means that this is an evening of euphoric peaks and simmering troughs, rather than a David Guetta-esque choon-a-thon. Those hoping for two straight hours of big beats are at the wrong gig, quite frankly, whilst fans happy to let the likes of 'Superliminal', 'Cthulhu Sleeps' and 'The Veldt' let loose in all their oblique glory are treated to just over an hour of electronic music majesty.

The visuals are as good as you will ever find at any dance gig, ranging from fiery, netherwordly visions to spacey romps and, in the case of 'Infra Turbo Pigcart Racer', a deadmau5 take on Mario Kart, lending a real sense of occasion to the evening and doing the Roundhouse’s imperious setting some real justice. As the final notes of a spinetingling 'Strobe' settle down and the man himself skips out for a cheeky wave sans his iconic helmet, it's hard to argue that this still-young festival hasn't kicked off its third year in spectacular style.

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article by: Dee Traven

published: 03/09/2014 13:14

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