On Thursday, Jan. 31, Madison was on the back end of the worst week of cold weather that many of us have ever seen. Residents were told to stay inside, turn up the heat and not leave unless it was necessary. Surely, no one would be in the mood to celebrate just yet with temperatures well below zero and snow falling steadily, right? Well, Madison’s music and concert scene didn’t seem phased one bit.
Braving the fierce, dangerous conditions were some 2,000 plus fans of EDM royalty Dillon Francis and Alison Wonderland – two of the genres biggest and best acts performing today. A show featuring just one of them on a given night would be enough bang for your buck, but both? Truly a treat.
Fresh off the release of their joint single “Lost My Mind” of which the tour is named after, this show was the first in a 15-city, 16-show circuit.
The lines to get in were long, and security was slow moving, making the wait to see these modern giants of dance music seem like an eternity. Once inside, the coat check was rather overwhelmed, apparently even running out of coat hangers and space for everyone attempting to check their thick winter jackets for a night of fun.
However, this might have been expected at a newer venue experiencing not only its first winter but also during such a harsh week of weather where everyone was bundling up. Once inside, it was easy to get warm with the mammoth crowd that had assembled.
Along with the duo is up-and-coming artist Diablo, who certainly got the night started with a fiery performance, warming the crowd up both figuratively and literally on such a cold night. Unfortunately for many, those in line were still waiting to get in while he was playing his music. Nonetheless, he put on a solid performance.
Then came Alison Wonderland. A brilliant set ensued as she lit up the stage and dragged us all down a rabbit hole of trippy visuals, an elaborate light show and carefree dancing. Her single “Easy,” off last year’s smash hit Awake, was a stand out performance during her set. Perhaps at no other moment during the evening was there such a powerful and tangible connection between audience and performer.
On several occasions, Wonderland took her time on stage to make a statement of a fight against depression and mental illness, at one-point exclaiming, “F*** depression!” and assuring everyone that might be going through something of their own that it would get better. This type of intimacy that she shares with her fans is special and not a common thing to witness in a genre where the DJ might stay behind their table the entire show. Wonderland’s willingness to grab her mic and dance down as close to the audience as possible makes her show feel more like a joint celebration between artist and fan than most shows that I’ve ever seen.
Following her was Dillon Francis, who I have been a fan of since first hearing “I.D.G.A.F.O.S.” way back in 2011. Having missed a performance of his when I was living in Milwaukee due to poor travel conditions not enabling Francis’ plane to take off (It seems Mother Nature doesn’t want me to see him…), I was incredibly eager to finally hear his music live, and he did not disappoint.
With every song, the crowd exploded into a bigger and wilder frenzy, swaying to Francis’ patented blend of moombahton and Spanish-speaking vocal artistry. Personal favorite “Ven” pushed what was left of the roof off The Sylvee, igniting a fire that didn’t stop for the rest of the night.
Truly both a visual spectacle and audio experience that can’t be missed, the “Lost My Mind” tour could not have gotten off to any more of a perfectly wild start. I would recommend seeing any of the three acts live and will certainly be keeping all of them rocking through my headphones for the foreseeable future.
For more information on the "Lost My Mind" tour, click here.