If you were one of the 4,000 quick-fingered Deadmau5 fans who didn’t get the “All available tickets are currently locked by other users” message when trying to score tickets to his highly-anticipated free show at the Ice Palace in Miami, then you, like us, are probably still half-deaf. After denouncing Miami’s bro-like VIP club culture at a New Year’s gig held at Mansion Nightclub (tweeting after “I won’t be playing anymore Miami clubs”) and Club Space subsequently offering him a chance to hold a free show at no cost, this was a rare opportunity for true fans to see not the Mau5, but Joel Thomas Zimmerman. Donning the oh-so-elaborate mousehead on occasion, Zimmerman spent most of the night/morning without it, inviting fans to view his grin, his expressions, his frustrations, his neck tattoos. Basically, watching Joel be Joel. He must have enjoyed himself as much as we did because he quickly tweeted “Miami has redeemed itself. Yay! Good times!” after his 4-hour set. Honestly, it was like we were watching Joel in his home studio sonically testing on us lab rats, seeing what did and didn’t work- all of which worked on us (he knew it would!). As fans, here are the 5 cerebral phases we experienced at his show and their accompanying dance moves.
THE ANXIETY PHASE
Dance move: Balancing girlfriend on shoulders
Walking into the sounds-like-an-expensive-audio-system, warehouse-like venue automatically set our anticipation level at a high. Around 12:53 a.m., the pulse of the party flat-lined temporarily till the crowd roared over Deadmau5’s silhouette approaching the booth. It only took a “Hey guys! Thanks for coming out” for the fans to shout and for every girl to get on her boyfriend’s shoulders, festival style. The countdown to D-Day (Deadmau5 Day) was over and the anxiety in the room was quelled…at least until he dropped “I Remember” (only one of the greatest house songs of all time!).
THE GREATEST HITS PHASE
Dance Move: Put your arms around your BFFs and jump
This then set off the “greatest hits” phase. Playing songs like “Raise Your Weapon,” “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” and “Strobe” set a nostalgic tone for the party. This is the part where you realize you have all your best friends around (well, the ones who actually got tickets) and you reminisce on the memories you’ve had to each of the Mau5’s hits. You may even shed a tear and open up emotionally to those around you whom you’ve just met.
THE TAKE IT SLOW PHASE
Dance move: Wrap your arms around your partner and sway
After dancing excitedly for about an hour, it’s time to wind down and regain some energy (or use the bathroom/buy another drink, whatever). This is probably the more romantic part of the show where we allow Joel’s superpowers to lock us into a trance with “wah” and “bloop” sounds that we’re convinced will have all the couples Kama Sutra-ing. This part of the show is about embracing and self-reflecting, whether it’s about how in love you are with your life or trying to justify spending ten dollars on a 12-ounce can of Bud Light at the bar.
THE “WTF! I WANNA LEARN HOW TO DO THAT” PHASE
Dance move: Crazy off-beat footwork (and no shirt)
Once the pulsating bass begins to revive us, we’re ready to dance. But there’s just something that’s throwing us off. We find ourselves two-step dancing like we usually do, but when we turn to our right there’s a shirtless guy (isn’t there always?) with light-up, raver shoes doing out-of-this-world footwork that attracts a dance battle circle with other shirtless guys who’ve clearly been practicing. This is the part of the show when you get down on yourself for not being the once-great dancer you thought you were but then Deadmau5 hops on the mic and says, “It’s 3:30. When does this end? F–k it! I’m going till 5.” You now have ample time to try and redeem yourself (shirt optional).
THE INTIMATE PHASE
Dance move: Reach your arms out church-like towards the DJ booth
Looking at our watch, we have about 33 minutes left to give it all we got, but by now, our feet are killing us. Thus, all our energy is transferred to the upper body. This is the part of the show where we fist-pump and move our hips back and forth, feet firmly planted. As some of the crowd leaves because they just can’t hang (weirdos), we move closer to the stage, raising our arms in the air hoping Joel will notice that we’re still here. He might be looking at the half-naked girl wearing a homemade mouse head behind us, but who cares, he looked our way! That one glance was the final sign-off we needed to end a night we’ll never forget. OK, maybe some of it was blotchy or we would’ve listed ten phases. Either way.