Inside deadmau5’s “retro5pective” at the Hollywood Bowl, a Dazzling Homage to His Career

deadmau5 has launched "retro5pective: 25 Years of deadmau5," a series of shows honoring his remarkable quarter-century journey as a pioneer in electronic music.

Set against the iconic backdrop of the Hollywood Bowl on April 27th, followed by the Brooklyn Mirage May 2-3 and a doubleheader at Colorado's iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater November 1-2, the series promises an all-encompassing chronicle of deadmau5's influence.

We attended its kickoff performance at the Hollywood Bowl performance and can attest—it's an unforgettable experience.

deadmau5 performs at "retro5pective: 25 years of deadmau5" at The Hollywood Bowl on April 27th, 2024.

Jake West

Kicking off the night was an electrifying performance by Meute, a techno marching band whose dynamic act set the stage for an extraordinary evening. Following their stellar performance, deadmau5 took center stage alongside his longtime friend, Steve Duda, for a special DJ set under their BSOD alias.

The longtime friends cracked open some beers together and performed while memories of the pair projected behind them. The sudden appearance of Tommy Lee and DJ Aero transformed the stage into a rare quartet performance as WTF?.

Tommy Lee, DJ Aero, deadmau5 and Steve Duda perform for "retro5pective"at The Hollywood Bowl.

Stevo Rood/Live Nation Hewitt Silva

After WTF?'s performance drew to a close, deadmau5 returned to the stage, ready to mesmerize atop his iconic Cube. Over the course of three exhilarating hours, he treated us to an incredible show, dropping classics such as "I Remember," "Strobe" and "Ghosts 'n' Stuff."

Joined by a lineup of talented vocalists, including the high-energy SOFI for "Sofi Needs a Ladder" and the kinetic Kiesza for "Bridged By a Lightwave," the atmosphere crackled with excitement and energy. Longtime collaborator Lights graced the stage and captivated the amphitheater for a scintillating performance of "Raise Your Weapon" and later reappeared to sing "drama free."

Hayla's hypnotizing performance of the hit Kx5 track "Escape" further enraptured the audience while Meute's brief return added an unexpected twist to the show. deadmau5 even previewed a new track, "The Truth with the hip-hop group Coast Contra.

Hayla performs with deadmau5 for "retro5pective" at The Hollywood Bowl.

Jake West

deadmau5 flaunted an array of different mau5heads, each one bringing a new dimension to the performance. Meanwhile, the art on the Cube transported us into a vortex of trippy imagery, including imagery of past performances and an array of dazzling visuals.

At one point, deadmau5 delighted fans with a nostalgic nod to his early career by seamlessly weaving in the iconic 2008 HARD Haunted Mansion "Ghosts 'n' Stuff" intro.

In a poignant moment towards the show's end, deadmau5 invited the audience to raise their lights, transforming the amphitheater into a twinkling sea of stars as he delivered an emotive live rendition of "Strobe." This introspective, stripped-back performance was one the concert's most surreal, an aching homage to the enduring legacy of his music.

At the time of this article's publication, Friday's "retro5pective" show in New York is sold out and few tickets remain for Thursday, May 2nd, when deadmau5 will also make an in-store appearance at Rough Trade NYC. Fans can keep an eye out for further updates by subscribing here.

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