Deadmau5 unplugs his cube to perform in the Arizona desert
Written & photographed by: Carmen Garza
Date: June 4, 2021
The man, the myth, the EDM legend Deadmau5 simply needs no introduction to his fellow ravers eagerly awaiting his arrival on the massive, and newly expanded, stage at Rawhide Event Center in Chandler, Arizona. On June 4, concert revelers were about to take their imagination and senses on a magical musical journey.
Sporting a black baseball hat, black t-shirt, blue jeans and one red and one black high-top Converse sneaker, Deadmau5 (a.k.a. Joel Zimmerman) made his entrance and addressed everyone by saying, “Hello, Phoenix. It’s good to be back here even though it’s so fucking hot. I got to be honest. I’m only functioning on seventy-five percent tonight, but I’m going to give you one hundred-twenty percent of it.” His fans instantaneously erupted in a thunderous outburst that could be heard throughout the Gila River Indian Reservation the event was located on.
There was a natural flow with each song and the accompanying computerized graphics displayed on the jumbo screens surrounding the stage were unquestionably electrifying. And if you’re into music that makes your hair stand erectly on your arms, you were in high heaven. After the first tune, Joel wore his bright florescent green iconic Mau5head until it became uncomfortably hot for him. He continued to indulge the crowd with hit after mega hit such as “Hypnocurrency”, “Sofi Needs A Ladder”, “Monophobia”, “Raise Your Weapon”, “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” and “Polaris” to name a handful of them.
Even a seasoned electronic artist such as Deadmau5 sometimes chooses to travel with a supporting cast of other talented dj/producers. NERO’s smashing, hardcore beats resonated throughout the grounds. His invigorating musical offering left an indelible impression on the rambunctious fans.
Spencer Brown proved his EDM worth and offered a smooth, trance-like performance of the evening. Speaker Honey showed how much power she has behind her sound system and that she can run with the big boys. The night’s festivities began with the music of Lamorn, who displayed a unique sound of his own.
Concertgoers were in their element, as though the COVID-19 pandemic never happened, and time stood still at least for those several hours celebrating together the return of live music. Whether they were getting their groove on to the enchanting soundscapes of each masterfully performed craft, hanging with friends in the V.I.P. area, snapping pics at the selfie station or grubbing at the concession area, all was right in the world.