Since witnessing ZHU’s debut efficiency at HARD Summer season in 2014, I’ve seen him seven subsequent instances. Every time, each time he’d make the choice to carry out, there was at all times an intent to develop, to raise, the efficiency. When he performed on the Shrine in 2016, it was for the GENERATIONWHY album and the primary tour he launched his guitarist and saxophonist. By the point I noticed him at International Dance Pageant in 2019, he’d finished away with the veil and thriller of the challenge, his music in a position to converse for itself.
Now, in 2021 for his DREAMLAND 2021 tour, the present has developed to the purpose of full-on reside spectacle. The mix of over 5 years of stellar music, a superb reside manufacturing, and an immaculate imaginative and prescient has taken ZHU’s reside present past the everyday CDJ and LED-wall motif — though these are nonetheless current.
Starting with “Misplaced It” from his new album was a no brainer. Such a bombastic opening to an album may solely translate equally properly to a reside setting, and it set the tone splendidly for the remainder of the evening. Past a lot of his hits all through the evening, ZHU additionally peppered in reside edits and covers of songs like “…Child One Extra Time” by Britney Spears, “Creep” by Radiohead, and “Immigrant Tune” by Led Zeppelin. Although DJs are not any strangers themselves to throwing in songs that aren’t essentially “EDM,” doing so in a reside setting positively had a much bigger affect. You might really feel the power from the group when, as an example, the opening “dun dun dun” chords from “…Child One Extra Time” got here into focus.
The reside setting additionally benefitted the set in the way in which that ZHU was in a position to transfer from softer, slower moments like “Blue Dream” to intense, grandiose tracks like “Desires” with Nero or “I Admit It” with 24kGoldn, each banner moments from the set.
Past all of that was merely the way in which ZHU carried himself on stage, with the swagger, musicality and pop sensibility of The Weeknd mixed with the tastemaking and style of Kanye West and the arrogance of somebody who’s been doing this for a decade longer than he has.
Backside line, for those who have been on the fence about shopping for a ticket to a present on this tour, do your self the service of hitting that “purchase” button.
— bbbunny🌻 (@elaineajay) October 12, 2021
— ɛɦɦɦʍǟƈǟʀɛռǟ (@Maca_Smallz) October 12, 2021
— 😵💫 (@gustxvohernxndz) October 12, 2021
Picture by way of Joey Vitalari