Porter Robinson, Mat Zo, and The M Machine rocked the sold out Congress Theater into 2013. A couple of local DJs started things off before The M Machine took the stage at about 10pm. The one-hour set by the trio that is The M Machine, consisting of Ben Swardlick, Eric Luttrell, and Andy Coenen, focused on more of a chillstep/trance vibe than anything else. While the group does have some fast-paced beats and is considered an electro house group, most of the tracks played had a slower tempo, making it difficult for the crowd to get into their performance. Every once in a while, a song would come on that the audience would dance to, but there were lulls in between those songs. Unlike many DJ groups, The M Machine actually sang some of the songs in their set, but the highlight of the group’s set was a remix of Madeon’s “The City.” As soon as they dropped the track, the audience was immediately more engaged in the performance.
After a short intermission of pre-recorded music from the 1970s and early 1980s (I’m still not sure why that music was played at an EDM show), Mat Zo began his set a little after 11pm. With a more packed house, the 22-year-old British DJ played trance and progressive house music and got the crowd moving. He played more old-school EDM, which was an interesting change. Even though the music was not as engaging as other music played by DJs I’ve seen, the alcohol and drugs had the crowd pretty high.
At this point, the audience wasn’t raging, but as the new year approached, everyone got more excited. Mat Zo finished his set, and a countdown clock appeared on the large screen behind the DJ booth. Counting down the seconds from the number 17 (for some reason it was an odd number), the crowd grew louder and louder with each passing second. Finally, in big, flashing letters, the screen displayed the phrase, “Happy New Year!” Confetti sprayed out of the air cannons as friends hugged, couples kissed, and single guys and girls started kissing each other just because it was a good excuse to do so. During the celebration, the Mat Zo and Porter Robinson collaboration “Easy” played.
Shortly after midnight, the main act, Porter Robinson took the stage solo. Being on a high from just ringing in the new year, the crowd roared with excitement as Porter played. The 20-year-old DJ played the Congress for the second night in a row after sharing the stage with Milk & Cookies, Dannic, Deniz Koyu, and Hardwell the night before. Porter mixed up the beats to provide the crowd with both mid-tempo tracks and fast-paced songs. He even dropped a remix of Hardwell’s “Spaceman” at the New Year’s Eve show. The crowd raged as confetti fell while Porter closed out his set with his most famous track “Language.”
Besides the music from the DJs, other fun elements added to the experience of the show. Because the audience partied hard during Porter’s set, the security guards standing in between the stage and the front row of the crowd, used a hose to spray the crowd with some much needed water. Everyone in the first couple dozen rows was soon soaked and loving every second of it. The lights also made for a fun time, especially since a lot of people in the crowd were drunk and/or high. Bright colors, strobe lights, and different designs on the screens on stage kept the good times rolling. Even though the show had a slow start, it gradually picked up and ended with a bang at 1:30am.