Show Review : Porter Robinson – The Sylvee (10.07.2021)

Porter Robinson / Jai Wolf / James Ivy

The Sylvee

Madison, Wisconsin

Oct. 7th, 2021

Photos & Review By Bryan McCabe


To be completely honest, I really don’t follow the EDM scene that much. I’m a punk rock guy at heart, but EDM concerts have some of the best production and visuals in the game, so I try to pay attention when someone exciting is coming to town. Porter Robinson is exactly one of those artists that I decided to check out when I heard that he was bringing his Nurture tour to The Sylvee in Madison, WI.

In my experience from past EDM shows, the openers are typically just a dj standing in front of a laptop for 20 minutes, so I was pleasantly surprised when James Ivy came out and treated the crowd to live vocals and guitar. Seriously, that kind of thing never happens at these shows. He even threw in a well received acoustic cover of Porter Robinson’s “Something Comforting”. With Porter’s blessing of course. 

Up next was Jai Wolf. This was actually his second time in town in just over a month, but you would think it had been ages since the crowd had seen him judging by how excited they were. He truly is a headliner in his own right, so to have him as direct support on this tour just made the night that much better. Jai had all of the energy and visual production of someone that was the main act and the crowd definitely loved it. His set, including songs like “Moon Rider” and “ Indian Summer”, had the entire room dancing from start to finish. 

Remember when I said that EDM acts have some of the best visual production? Porter Robinson is definitely an artist that goes the extra mile to stand above most others. A giant video screen as the background is nothing new, BUT, the entire floor being a screen as well is something that I have never seen before. This setup made it appear as though Porter was standing within entire landscapes. If you manage to get right up front, you’ll even have a good chance of ending up on that giant screen when he turns his MacBook’s camera onto the crowd.

He’s also part of a refreshing trend of EDM artists stepping out from behind the table and mixer to perform vocals and play piano. All night he was able to draw the crowd in with his eclectic performance. One minute he would have you dancing to an upbeat song like “Look at the Sky”, that is full of positive energy, and then pull you back down to earth with a heartfelt piano ballad like “Blossom”. If he’s coming to your town, I cannot recommend that you go see him enough. His show is an incredible experience that you do not want to miss out on. 

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