Photo of Deadmau5 performing at Red Rocks ampitheater in 2021

Review: Deadmau5 Revives the Hits, Helmet for 2-Night Run at Red Rocks

After an entire season of cancelled shows in 2020, Red Rocks triumphantly returned this past year – reviving one of the more hallowed grounds in all of live music. Nearly everyday of the week from April to July, shows grew from intimate, limited capacity events (ZHU, Kaytranada, Sunsquabi) to the packed out shows we’ve come to expect from one of the world’s most acclaimed venues.

As Colorado dips into Fall—inducing mass color change in its trees and snow collection in its peaks—locals are reminded that Red Rocks season is inevitably coming to an end. While the chill has set in these past few weeks all across the Front Range, Mother Nature gifted attendees near perfect weather for one of its last multi-night runs – headlined by renown EDM artist, Deadmau5. (Mother Nature must be a techno fan).

Deadmau5—real name Joel Thomas Zimmerman—is a Canadian Producer/DJ. He began his career in the late 90’s, but had his major breakthrough with 2008’s LP, Random Album Title, which introduced his cutting-edge progressive house to mainstream audiences around the globe. His music helped electronic music’s boom in The States post-2010, and his label, mau5trap, has served as a platform for techno and progressive house artists around the world.

One such artist to benefit from Deadmau5’s attention to the underground is Lamorn, who opened both nights of Deadmau5’s Red Rocks run this year. In August of 2020, the then-18-year-old producer sent one of his tracks into Mau5trap. Deadmau5 was so impressed, he promptly reached out and signed him to the label. According to Deadmau5, he has not been so excited about an artist since discovering Skrillex.”

For his first Red Rocks performances, he introduced fans to his “indie electro hybrid” style via a unique live setup. Utilizing his rock background, he showcased his ability to create his songs live with loops, synths, guitar, and even adding in his own vocals.

Following Lamorn each night, Deadmau5 provided fans with two unique sets for his diverse listening base. Night one featured an extended “Deadmau5” set, aestheticized with a colorful skull helmet and visuals behind him. Deadmau5 has become famed for the use of his “Cube” stage production, however this year’s event featured very tall columns of video wall that made the stage look big, yet cozy. 

Following the sunset each night, shortly before 6 P.M., the temperatures dipped into the lower 50’s accompanied by a slight breeze. Winter may be coming, but properly attired attendees were treated to clear skies and a shimmering city skyline while enjoying one of the EDM’s finest on display.

Night two’s set was billed as “Deadmau5 + Testpilot,” which is Zimmerman’s techno-favoring alias project. The producer began adorning the mouse helmet and played his progressive hits (“Raise Your Weapon,” “Ghosts n’ Stuff”), before ultimately ditching the helmets and asking fans, “You guys like techno?” After ducking under the table for half a second, he reappeared to play an intensified techno set that closed the weekend run in epic fashion.

Deadmau5’s 2021 “RRX Takeover” served as a showcase for the producer’s ability to bring fresh takes and exciting new artists each time around. It also reminded us why we’re going to so sorely miss Red Rocks until Spring of 2022.

The remaining shows left on the Red Rocks slate are Ganja White Night on Nov 12-14, followed by Playboi Carti on November 19. Find tickets for the last Red Rocks shows of 2021 here.