It is a physical sensation when someone gentle takes you by the hand, looks into your eyes, and smiles empathetically. To live in a time with a musician who can provide that amount of warmth through his artistry is a blessing that comes once a century.
Nobody else is like Porter Robinson because Porter Robinson spent years learning to accept the mind and circumstance he was given. Though he has two albums in his long career spanning from 2010, he is a notable leader and visionary with his own festival and legacy.
His performance at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts was one of many exemplary concerts that combined the worlds in his brain with the sounds of his heart.
The openers were James Ivy, a promising ingenue with infectious enthusiasm, and Jai Wolf, a confident conductor on a journey to other worlds.
James Ivy may have been the first opener, but he consistently made the crowd lean forward in their seats with various twists and turns in his songs. “Pushin’ Thru It” sampled hyped-up voice clips and his cover of “Something Comforting” was accompanied by an introduction by Porter Robinson himself asking the audience to sing along.
Next came Jai Wolf with a clear aesthetic and story to tell. Splashes of colors narrated an astronaut and a train, expressing both the recklessness of adventure and the loneliness of pioneering. The spectators were all standing by this point; normally the Orpheum hosts high brow musicals and orchestras, but this night it was a dance floor.
If anyone reading this has not seen Porter Robinson live by now, add that to your bucket list. By the time of writing, I have experienced two of his DJ sets and four Virtual Self (his side project) shows, but Boston was the first attendance of a full-fledged “experience.”
Unlike the typical electronic or pop concert that uses flashy lights as props, the visuals are necessary to enter the world that Robinson created for his sophomore album Nurture. He is able to pull in the crowd to become a part of the stage by pointing his laptop camera at the sea of faces, then projecting that image onto his LED wall.
A notable moment unique to this date was how a fan handed him a poster of the iconic green creature from Monsters Inc. which he promptly ripped up with a war cry of “Fuck Mike Wazowski!” It’s actions like these that make the spectators feel special and a part of something near and dear to his heart, rather than a faraway nameless human that is but a passing ship in the night.
A favorite of the night was ‘Unfold’, the most powerful wall of sound he has composed to date mixed in with his old hit ‘Language’ and his classic tune ‘Divinity’. Out of the 300+ shows I’ve seen, this was by far the most heavenly moment I had been a part of.
Take it from me and see this boy live. We’re lucky to be here when he is. We’re lucky to let our choices nurture us into who we are.