As the lights faded on his debut show as VIRTUAL SELF, Porter Robinson grabbed the mic for the first time in his 2.5 hour set and addressed the crowd with an emotional speech explaining why he wanted to share this project with us.
For the last two years I’ve been wanting to play all this music and I had it all, all this time and I wouldn’t play any of it in a Porter Robinson DJ set. I was really waiting for this so it could be all one thing. And this has been a really, really long time coming and it’s my favorite thing in the world. – Porter Robinson
VIRTUAL SELF and last night’s UTOPiA warehouse rave are the result of Porter’s dedication to self-expression and connecting with his audiences through an immersive musical experience. This commitment isn’t new – Porter is known for putting on cohesive, emotional sets that leave people amazed and inspired. But VIRTUAL SELF is unique because Porter created it to express a side of himself that was not “Porter Robinson,” and in order to engage this side with his fans he crafted an immersive experience to introduce them to the new project.
Before the release of the debut VIRTUAL SELF EP, Porter launched a cinematic VIRTUAL SELF website featuring two characters with distinct musical styles that combine to make VIRTUAL SELF. Soon after that, rumors began circling of a VIRTUAL SELF show in New York after a fan found a poster in Brooklyn that matched the project’s aesthetic and simply hinted “12.08.17.” Porter eventually confirmed the rumors, put tickets up for sale, and his loyal fan base made sure the show quickly sold out.
All of this culminated in a massive gathering of music-lovers in a Brooklyn warehouse to witness Porter’s next move. After the openers DV-i and Raito finished their sets, VIRTUAL SELF introduced himself with hard-hitting techno opener that unleashed the crowd’s energy and set the tone for the night. The set itself defied any genre labeling as it seamlessly blended electronic elements from drum & bass, techno, house, and hardcore. The visual production used a song-customized combination of lasers, spotlights and strobes to take the crowd experience to new levels on each track. Text displaying cryptic phrases like “Am I still human?” or “This abyss is sacred.” frequently appeared on a screen behind Porter and added an existential feeling to an already otherworldly performance.
Porter’s passion on stage left no doubt that he was as hooked on VIRTUAL SELF as the crowd, and the entire night had a feeling of being the beginning of something exciting. The next VIRTUAL SELF show will be at the Buku Music + Art Project in New Orleans where attendees will be lucky enough to share in that passion themselves.
See videos from the performance below and enjoy!