A historic venue like Webster Hall rarely double books for artists in a single night. You get one shot to impress the crowd and that is it. 20-year-old French DJ, producer Madeon, real name Hugo Pierre Leclercq, is not most artists and on Friday, April 24, the Frenchman was allotted not one, but two sets in front of a packed, adoring New York City crowd. He has been hailed as a wunderkind and the next big thing in dance music since he was 16 years old, winning a Beatport remix for Pendulum's track "The Island." This led to a host of British label execs, including Pete Tons to fly to his parents' home in Nantes, France to woo the youngster. He signed a publishing deal at 16, had a major label deal at 17 and has produced songs for Ellie Goulding, Lady Gaga and Coldplay.
This pedigree of greatness has translated into several singles over the years, but it wasn't until March 30 this year that he released his rousing, pop-centric, cheery artist album Adventure, featuring the likes of Mark Foster from Foster The People, Dan Smith from Bastille and Passion Pit.
While Madeon is known as a technically gifted producer and a creative mind, his live show never stood above the pack like his productions. He uses a launchpad to perform his viral mashup "Pop Culture", which mixes together 39 tracks in three minutes, however this was never a huge part of the show.
This all changed on the 20-year-old's Adventure tour, which he debuted in San Francisco at the Regency Theater and then to the whole world at Coachella a few days later.
New York City got to see the new live show in action this past weekend, when Madeon stopped in at Webster Hall for two shows. He was supported by Los Angeles-based duo The M Machine, who have gone on tour with the likes of Porter Robinson, a DJ closely associated with Madeon.
The M Machine got the room warm for the Frenchman with a blend of brooding house rhythms and thumping four on the floor beats. They built their hour-long set into their own mysterious originals before handing the reigns over to the Frenchman, who quickly maneuvered behind his own machines and got his set underway.
As fans who either saw him at previous dates or heard his Coachella set knew that the versions of songs heard live were going to be a bit different from what you heard on the album.
The French DJ had left his turntables at home for a more interactive live set up that allowed him to perform elements of each song live and trigger certain pieces on a launchpad, controller or play them on a keyboard. The crowded setup also included two Macbooks, which had all of his songs and their various elements loaded onto them. This was all set against a backdrop of his album logo in a giant 3-D form, with the two triangles tilted slightly inward to make them more visible for viewers on each side of the venue.
The visuals were a cascading mixture of 3-D imagery that at times resembled the Novation launchpads he was playing, other times reflected the clips found in his recent string of music videos, with bright, strong colors that filled the room with warmth.
Much like his album, he kicked off the show with his the album intro track "Isometric," which then transitioned to a harder, more electro leaning edit of "You're On."
As one might expect the night showcased the tracks from his album over the DJs set that last just over an hour, breezing through selections like "Imperium," "Pay No Mind," "Pop Culture" and "Nonsense." He capped the set with his album finale, "Home" featuring his own vocals that took on an almost Imogen Heap-like quality live after all of the FX put on them.
Madeon was always busy behind his set up, either getting new triggers ready, playing keys or working his launchpad, rarely giving himself time to look up and interact with the crowd. When he did, broad smiles crept across the Frenchman's boyish face as he looked down over the fans in his clutches. There has been plenty for the 20-year-old to smile about over the past few years and Friday night was another one he will be able to look back on fondly for many years to come.
ADVENTURE LIVE TOUR 04 // two shows at Webster Hall in one night ! Thank you, that was great pic.twitter.com/Ft4sbpP7aI
— Madeon (@madeon) April 25, 2015