After years of extensive touring, Porter Robinson decided it was time to take a little break. For months he teased his new album, calling it "his most complete work ever" and "a true representation of what he wanted to produce." Worlds made quite a splash in that regard, receiving universal acclaim and inspiring many producers to follow suit. Not being one to restrain his vision to a single market, Robinson kicked off the Worlds Tour this year featuring state-of-the-art productions at dozens cities in the United States.
Porter Robinson made his way to Orlando, Florida on October 17 to perform at the House of Blues, a venue rich with culture and host to previous artists such as Disclosure, Excision, and DJ Shadow. Organized by Disco Donnie Presents, HTG Events, Live Nation, and Vizion 1, the show featured two openers for Robinson's spectacle: Norwegian electronic band Lemaitre and LA future bass producer Giraffage. Lemaitre played many tracks from their recent Singularity album with live vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. Giraffage followed by balancing his downtempo originals with banging trap and g-house flavor. Both artists employed psychedelic visuals and set the tone for a fantastic night.
Porter Robinson kicked off his set by opening with a reprise of the first single from Worlds, "Sea of Voices", and segueing into his hit single "Sad Machine." The massive scale of the production came to light during his intro, with a massive LED screen and two side LED screens dominating the stage with anime-inspired imagery. During the climax of "Sad Machine", air cannons shot out massive streams of air while confetti filled the venue with all colors of the spectrum.
The tour highlighted most of the tracks from Worlds, including "Flicker", "Divinity", "Sea of Voices", and more. One of the biggest highlights of the show was in the way that Robinson reworked his classic and noticeably higher energy tracks to fit the atmosphere of the show. "Spitfire", "The Seconds", and "Say My Name" all received updates that gave the tracks fresh perspectives. The only exception was seen with the show's closing song, a faithful rendition of the seminal "Language."
The tour's fusion of elaborate production and live elements gave the performance more character than many run-of-the-mill DJ sets today. The LED screens displayed visuals calling back to Robinson's love of video games and anime, with references to Pokemon, fighting game BlazBlue, and The Legend of Zelda. Robinson also sang, played keys, and mixed live, reinforcing his new direction as an indie-electronic architect.
Porter Robinson's Worlds Tour ultimately lived up to its expectations, and new takes on his material elevated the show to esteemed heights. Hosting the show at the House of Blues was a genius decision, as it gave credence to Robinson's evolution as a producer and arranger. While the North Carolina producer once made high-energy anthems, this tour solidifies his expansion as an artist, and we can't wait to see what's next.
Cover photo credit: Ben Weickert