Having first caught the eye of the mainstream EDM masses in late 2015 with his stunning remix of Skrillex & Diplo collab ‘Where R U Now’, masked mogul Marshmello has since enjoyed a rise more meteoric than any before him, with a fanatical ‘Mellogang’ fanbase to boot. Following his explosive February performance at London’s Ministry of Sound, anticipation was high for the American’s next set in the UK capital, at the famous O2 Academy in Brixton.
A venue famed for previously hosting some of dance music’s biggest names, including Above & Beyond, and the now defunct Swedish House Mafia, Brixton Academy’s old-school theatre style structure sees towering balconies overlook a long and sloped dance floor, ensuring a perfect view for even those stuck at the back. The high ceiling ensures that the sound charges off the walls, with the dome-shaped roof keeping the bass locked in.
Selling out the Academy to his army of adorning fans, the man himself was busy taking to the stage of Amsterdam Arena’s incredible AMF event on Saturday evening whilst first support act Rude Kid warmed up the London faithful on a cold night south of the Thames. Arriving half-way through the grime producer’s set, Brixton’s arrival hallway was full of imitation Mello-helmets, and ‘Mellogang’ tees, with a strong showing of merchandise paying homage to the ‘Alone’ DJ.
Cue the arrival of Mello’s long-time friend, and fellow trap enthusiast, Slushii. The American, making his first ever London appearance, tore up the room with his heavy dub-laden cuts of popular pop classics, as well as his own productions and remixes, including his Marshmello collab, ‘Twinbow.’ And so, with the almost-5,000 capacity eagerly awaiting their hero, and his last-minute flight from Amsterdam, the lights dimmed, and the Mellogang’s time had finally arrived.
Fresh from being crowned as the #10 DJ in the world during the results of the DJ Mag Top 100 vote, Mello stepped out, with his illuminating helmet displaying a revolving pattern of neon colours, cue roars from the rabid crowd. As the lights lifted, his psychedelic visuals began to spin on the giant LED screen behind him, as fans sang along to ‘Know Me.’
The producer blitzed through a collection of phenomenal cuts including a number of his own hits such as ‘Summer’ and his vibrant remix of Avicii’s ‘Waiting For Love’. One of the moments of the night came when he dropped the anthemic ‘Keep It Mello‘ to an absolutely crazy crowd who chanted along in unison. It’s rare to see a DJ enjoying a set as much as Marshmello was on the night, moving and grooving along to each track and pumping his fists in the air to every hard-hitting kick drum that reverberated around the club.
By this point, the masked mogul had his Mellogang under a spell, and continued to pump huge bass drops into his set with the London crowd intent on cementing their reputation as one of the best in the world, screaming and dancing to every drop, with flurries of girls being hosted aloft male shoulders. Bringing in a distinct drum and bass vibe towards the tail end of his set, the venue, crammed right back to the corridors with Mellofans, his own remix of Adele’s ‘Hello’ reverberated around the walls of the Academy.
And so, with his fanbase now dripping in sweat, Marshmello took a moment to silence the sound, before dropping ‘Silence’ itself. The track, which has now become Mello’s most played on Spotify, overtaking the highly popular ‘Alone’ with a whopping 180 million streams since release at the end of August, features the vocals of high acclaimed superstar Khalid, and on this occasion featured the vocals of all of Brixton.
Initially viewed by many as a gimmick as a result of his Mello-mask and all-white attire, the mysterious producer has carved a reputation as EDM’s most trending act over the course of this past year. With ‘Silence’ surging into the top 10 of the UK Top 40, and new track ‘You & Me’ (featuring the vocals of Mello himself) released last Friday, the American has never been more relevant, or popular, as he proudly sits aloft the summit of the dance music world.
With Marshmello now capable of commanding a birth of the mainstage of any world festival, both he – as his Mellogang – will continue to grow. With world domination well and truly under way, his Brixton performance was the perfect aural embodiment of a DJ consistently embarking on the process of ‘Moving On’ to bigger and better things.
— DJ Mag (@DJmag) October 21, 2017