Fans young and old filled the Vogue Theatre, patiently awaiting the debut of Porter Robinson’ Worlds Tour. Opening up the night was electronic indie band Lemaitre from Oslo, Norway. Playing most of their songs off the Singularity EP, Lemaitre set the tone for what was to come – something totally different than what was expected from past Porter Robinson shows. Fool’s Gold’s Giraffage was next on the ballot, soothing the crowd with synth based melodies and club bangers. In lieu of Porter Robinson’s love for all things kawaii, Giraffage’s visual aesthetic followed themes of net art, tumblr saturated images and lots and lots of cats.
Anticipation was at an all time high as the crowd was mesmerized by the visually appealing images, enacting a sense of wonder and escapism. Through this, Porter Robinson turned the venue into a magical place where his new musical approach soundtracked the adventure. From Princess Mononoke to Anohana, the visuals were displayed with some of his favourite anime inspirations while he performed each song with keyboards, launchpads and a vocalized microphone. If you were at this show, you would have understood that this was more than just a performance for Porter – this was a personal connection to his fans.
When discussing his new sound which has been described as escapism from reality as well as the EDM world, he explains that “when I say escapism, I don’t think that’s necessarily indicative of despair. I don’t think about it that something only in despair need. I don’t think of the album as escaping EDM, either. I don’t consider Worlds to be this reaction to EDM, but more so that I wanted to write the best, most personal music I could. And do it honestly. When I talk about escapism, I think about me as a kid who grew up playing lots of video games. You would be connected in this beautiful landscape. That really connected me as a kid. I wanted to channel that musically. I think everyone has some kind of fictional universe that they are in love with. That’s very important to our lives. It doesn’t mean you have something horrible going on, but rather imagination and beauty.”
Braving Vancouver with his first debut live show, Porter Robinson astounded the crowd with his new material – contrastingly different than his Spitfire days. And although the audience sang along word for word, many were anticipating the nostalgia of his older sounds. Thankfully, he closed with Language and all was good in the world.
– Vanessa Wong