Porter Robinson and Madeon’s Shelter Live Tour is an otherworldly experience. Ever since returning home from the show in Denver last night, I’ve been trying to come up with the right words to properly explain it, and the only thing that comes to mind is unreal. What else would you expect from these two powerhouses, though? The Colorado stop of the collaborative tour sold out almost immediately after tickets went on sale, and although it would have been better suited for Red Rocks (if only it were still Summer) Porter Robinson and Madeon really made the Fillmore Auditorium come alive - something that proves to be challenging for many musicians.
But before the duo took the stage together, opening acts Robotaki and San Holo were there to amp up the crowd and provide a strong start to the night. Although fans were still trickling inside while Robotaki was playing (myself being one of them) his focus was on getting the crowd hyped for the acts to follow. San Holo, on the other hand had the crowd singing along to clever remixes of both classic and modern hits such as Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen,” tied in with Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind?” and Blur’s “Song 2.” Needless to say, with each passing song, the crowd only got more and more wild.
With a rather short set change between San Holo and collaborative headlining set, the energy in the room remained high, and by the time the lights on stage dimmed, the crowd went absolutely wild. Right off the bat, it was apparent that this show was going to be very different than a simple headlining Porter Robinson or Madeon set for many reasons, the first being the chemistry and camaraderie between the men on stage. Wasting no time kicking things off with their massive single, “Shelter,” the two had the crowd going within a matter of seconds. What made things even more powerful than the already emotional song was the mood lighting and spectacular live vocals.
Throughout the set, it was impossible to ignore the poetic symmetry, from the stage setup which situated Porter and Madeon side by side, and the mind-blowing light show that ebbed and flowed with each passing song, to the set as a whole, which centered around three tracks in particular; “Language,” “Technicolor” and of course, “Shelter.” Throughout the night, fans would hear bits and pieces of each of these songs, giving the set a very well rounded and poetic feeling, right up until the very end. After “Goodbye to a World,” the two left the stage, but the devoted fans in the audience weren’t going anywhere - they needed their big finale, and thankfully, Porter Robinson and Madeon delivered. A few minutes later, fans sat on each other's shoulders to sing along as they returned to the stage to play one last emotional, stripped down version of “Shelter,” and as the last song finally swelled, confetti filled the entire room, giving us the massive finale that we’d all been waiting for.
The Shelter Live Tour isn’t like any other normal show for multiple reasons. With Porter Robinson and Madeon performing side by side, the two treated fans with plenty of their favorite songs as well as mashups and mindblowing re-imaginings of one another’s work. Rather than co-headline over one another, the show was a spectacular collaborative effort that ended up being one of the most well produced, well rounded and thought out performances I’ve seen all year. From the light show, which was out of this world, right down to the very colors of the lights matching the mood of each song perfectly, to the flow of the entire set, the Shelter Live Tour was flawless. This is something you don’t want to miss.