Porter Robinson played the entirety of his show singing and running back and forth from the piano to his DJ deck to just about everywhere on the stage to take in the energy of the crowd for two nights at Los Angeles State Historic Park. His two outdoor stops in LA for the Nurture Live Tour included support from Jai Wolf, Toro y Moi, Wavedash and James Ivy.
Opener Toro y Moi was decked out in a red trucker jacket with bleach blond hair moving the crowd with his 2019 pop hit “Ordinary Pleasure” as well as his signature smash “Freelance” early in the set. The rest of the Bay Area artist’s set was a varied blend – everything from house to garage, trap to pop with “Too Bizarre” by Skrillex, Swae Lee & Siiickbrain making the cut as well as the unexpected but refreshing inclusion of a remix of 2000 pop song “Breathless” by The Corrs.
Jai Wolf brought the energy with an epic visual opening of an astronaut in space, solo on the stage with just his gear for maximum impact with the background visuals. The New York-based producer/DJ dove into ambient and moody to pop to electro to reggaeton including his song “Drive” (which features The Chain Gang of 1974) to Jai Wolf’s remix of “Say My Name” by ODESZA featuring Zyra. Jai Wolf played the keys beautifully with the track “Gravity”, jumping with the crowd while an animated subway train raced across the screen like a dream iTunes commercial. A high moment was on a remix of Ellie Goulding’s “Lights”, as was the glistening “Indian Summer” and the optimistic, anthemic “Starlight”.
Porter Robinson’s The Nurture Live Tour runs through mid-November and Porter brought all the stops – piano galore for what was just about the entirety of the set, numerous vocals with different audio manipulation and he was all over the stage getting the LA State Historic Park crowd on their toes. The North Carolina-based producer/songwriter/artist set the tone seated at the piano for the soothing “Lifelike”/”Wind Tempos”, later waving to the crowd and singing “Something Comforting” off his latest 2021 Nurture album. It was a totally effervescent opening. Porter was back at the piano for the lively and optimistic “Look At The Sky” emerging out of the darkness to run all over the stage before heading back over to the piano for its more emotional moments. Porter hit his notes wonderfully and its impact was felt on the lyric “Look at the sky, I’m still here, I’ll be alive next year”. It’s particularly noteworthy that Robinson sings for just about all of his tracks, something that is not commonplace for DJs and producers. “It’s so good to hear y’alls voices, it’s the best feeling in the world”, shouted Robinson in appreciation.
Seated center stage for the 2016 song “Shelter” (his hit with Madeon), Robinson had the entire outdoor crowd singing aloud, joining his beautiful vocals manipulated like a female anime character. On piano again, with the words “Sometimes, the inner voice is encouraging” Porter took on the lovely “Mirror”.
The epic “Sad Machine” was next, revealed by Robinson as he hit his mobile finger pad which caused fans to go wild once they recognized a few notes. Arms were swaying from side to side on this one, with the audience singing in unison to a track that is equal parts tender and exhilarating. Robinson went into the crowd for “Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do” and returned to “Wind Tempos” for a reprise with absolutely gorgeous chords on the keys and then he brought the tempo back up and danced it out. The bright and happy “Musician” was next, followed by “Mother” and then Robinson mentioned it was his first outside show without his girlfriend Rika. He then declared the next song “Blossom” was about her, an acoustic guitar-led love song.
Porter Robinson did a Google search in front of his fans about his music and career and later played the piano-led “Sweet Time”, picking up the pace again with the addicting “Divinity” and then with the equally-catchy “Flicker” with its funky production and anime voices. Robinson thanked his crowd again and expressed how grateful he is for his fans and then introduced 2011 smash “Language” with Porter at the keyboard jumping in place getting his fans amped for the massive drops of a decade past.
Porter wrapped up with “Unfold” (his track with Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs) bringing back the ambient vibes of the show and later went into an encore of “Trying To Feel Alive” and later the inspiring “Get Your Wish” with fireworks bursting behind Robinson as well as in the sky. An image with a spinning globe appeared on the screen near the end of the set with the simple yet profound words “everything we need is already here”.
Words by Michael Menachem
Photos by Alan Le