The Best for Last
Written by: Sam Wolloch
I’m sure one time or another you’ve heard the phrase “saving the best for last.” Whether it’s those last few bites of your entree, the draught in your beer flight you’ve been waiting to taste, or the powerful kick at the end of a long race, there are countless examples of this age-old adage.
I would certainly count myself in this camp, relishing the experience down to the very last drop. One of my true joys as an EDM fan is being able to attend an artist’s last show on a nationwide concert tour, and wouldn’t you know in my short time back home in New York City, I have had this opportunity quite a few times.
There’s something special about the catharsis of an artist completing a long tour well done. All those late nights in hotel rooms, all those long days traveling from city to city, and the packed venues of adoring fans - all flashing through their memory as they perform their act for the final time. The effusively share their gratitude towards the management and production teams for their hard work over the past weeks and months. And there’s usually that one unforgettable occasion, when the artist lets it all go and puts their heart on their sleeve.
Of course this article is on the tip of my fingers because recently I’ve been fortunate to witness several of these magical moments. Troyboi ended his Nostalgia Tour on December 21, 2019 with a heartfelt show at The Great Hall at Avant Gardner, a rare occurrence to get a trap artist on NYC’s biggest club stage.
While Troyboi and his supporting dancers, as well as Yultron before him, were out on stage doing the most as the tour came to a close, I was absolutely blown away by his opening act on the night, Argenil, of Bangalore, India. Troyboi tapped into his Eastern roots and the talent of this self-identified Hindustani Trap duo was on full display. Their passion for playing live instruments and their accomplishment for completing a 19-state US tour oozed out of them as Rohit Gondhi wailed away on the saxophone and drums and Anil Prasad impressed on the guitar and with production.
Barely a week on from the Troyboi tour, and I was hightailing it from the HiJinx Festival in Philadelphia, PA to make it back to The Bronx, NY for the last of three Eric Prydz HOLO shows. Remarkably, New York City was the only US destination for the last stop for this breathtaking production, and the team at DEG Presents did an outstanding job getting the tour set up in The New York Expo Center the weekend before new years, December 27 - 29, 2019.
I can easily proclaim without a doubt in my mind that Prydz’s HOLO was the single greatest visual light performance set to music that I have ever seen. The attention to detail is unmatched. The quality and realness of the 3D light images can only be seen to be believed. And the thoughtful integration of a wide array of imagery set to the extensive libraries of not just Eric Prydz, but also his side projects of Pryda & Cirez D, was out of this world! While I only caught the last of his three performances, I was assured by his most hardcore fans that he did in fact, “save the best for last!”
And so did I, as I most recently saw deadmau5 complete his six-month Cube V3 tour in New York City, catching three of his four shows as he sold out The Great Hall at Avant Gardner on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, ahead of his swan song on Sunday, February 9th. As the final stop on the tour, NYC was selected as one of three cities nationwide to have a deadmau5 pop up shop, with Los Angeles and Denver being the other two. Also marking the occasion was a Saturday night treat, as Avant Gardner used all three rooms at their massive venue for a six-hour long after party featuring several mau5trap artists, as well as a rare techno set from his alter ego side project, TESTPILOT.
While the final Cube V3 weekend at Brooklyn’s best club was one to remember, I will never forget the last time Lights came out to sing vocals on the tracks “Raise Your Weapons” and “Drama Free.” For the first track, Lights stealthily took over the DJ booth at the center of the cube, while deadmau5 donned a long red wig and let loose with a lip sync rendition of “Raise Your Weapons.” The Sunday crowd was a little slow to recognize the rouse, but I was hip to it, as they swapped roles and got goofy on the last night of the tour.
Even more memorable though, was the fantastical flight of deadmau5’s cat prop, Meowington. Sometime during Lights’ singing performance, deadmau5 decided to launch the cat doll into the crowd, knowing he would not need it back. Deadmau5 urged the crowd to spread the love and the fans obliged, as Meowington was launched into orbit around the room. But just as the cube was beginning to rotate closed at the end of the second Lights track “Drama Free,” Meowinton was miraculously thrown back at deadmau5, landing almost perfectly on the edge of the DJ desk at the heart of the cube. One of those moments you just had to be there for, and one I’m sure Joel won’t soon forget.
As the set wore on, the sips on his Corona got a little longer, the drags on his cigarette got a little slower. The Cube V3 tour was nearing its conclusion and you could see deadmau5 soaking it all in, the catharsis on full view. With his trademark couldn’t-care-less attitude, deadmau5 thanked his support and the entire cube crew, before recalling the miraculous return of Meowington and relishing the impending New York pizza party to celebrate a tour well done.
Looking to the future, I already have one concert tour finale circled and starred on my 2020 calendar. The July 1st performance of Above and Beyond’s Acoustic III Tour at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater accompanied by the Colorado Symphony is surely going to be a special night.
What concert tour finale are you looking forward to? What “best for last” memories do you have from finales you’ve seen? Get involved on the Moon Landing social media and let us know!
You can find me @samwolloch on your preferred platform and don’t hesitate to reach out - I’m always up for a story idea by the fans for the fans!