Photos by Lily Stockton
Looking at the crowd outside the Shrine Auditorium, it would’ve been fair to assume that they were waiting for a blockbuster movie premiere, not a concert. Fans dressed in identical black cloaks, technicolor Hawaiian shirts, and oversized bolero hats joyfully exchanged fan merch and made conversation. Topics ranged from compliments on cosplays to the latest ARG puzzles they helped solve for the show to come. One might not expect this level of dedication from a relatively small fandom, but it’s simply the devotion that Madeon commands.
Madeon, real name Hugo Pierre Leclercq, has been a staple of the electronic music scene since his 2015 debut, Adventure. The artist has been running his globe-spanning Good Faith Forever tour since 2019, an audiovisual experience made to be as cinematic as the music it’s attached to. Its sold-out Shrine Auditorium stop was announced to be the final show of the tour, and coincided with the four year anniversary of its Grammy-nominated parent album, Good Faith. Considering this and the hype Madeon had been drumming up on social media in weeks prior, his fans’ excitement for the event was well justified.
Opening the night was electronic artist BAYNK, who performed an immersive DJ set with live vocals. The New Zealander seemed equally comfortable toiling away at his laptop as he was dancing with microphone or sax in hand. BAYNK’s effortless charisma was complemented by the pulsating synth layers of his instrumentals, which created a laid-back atmosphere. His performance also previewed Madeon’s dynamic visual set up: lights on the sides of the stage washed over the crowd to the rhythm of the distorted beats they accompanied. It’s hard to impress a crowd familiar with Madeon’s theatrics, but BAYNK was ready for the challenge.
After a brief interlude featuring a TV testcard on the stage’s massive screen, the venue lights finally dimmed, to the thrill of the audience. The tension in the room was palpable, and reached a climax when the words “GOOD FAITH FOREVER” appeared in technicolor on screen. As his simultaneously poppy and climactic single “All My Friends” began, Madeon finally walked out to thunderous cheers. The already electrified crowd roared in excitement when the chorus dropped, transforming Madeon into a striking silhouette against the now psychedelic neon screen.
Every following song lived up to this standard, forming a barrage of crowd-pleasing moments, both musical and visual. A congregation of ghosts on screen accompanied Madeon as he conducted the crowd to sing the otherworldly choir samples of “Dream Dream Dream”. A laser show during “You’re On” encouraged the crowd to sing along to the song’s jittery vocal chops and anthemic chorus. A disorienting wall of hooded figures appeared for the danceable synths of “Icarus”, which had the audience shaking the floor of the balcony level. These songs often blurred into each other with how seamlessly Madeon mixed them, and the performer took impressively few breaks other than to shout thank you’s.
After completing this gauntlet, Madeon briefly left the stage for the show’s first true break. Roughly five minutes into it, a robotic voice began addressing fans’ work solving the musician’s cryptic puzzles throughout the Good Faith Forever era. Actors in costumes straight out of the show’s visuals then brought out an audience member, who solved the final puzzle of the tour, to receive a decorative pendant as a prize. Their years of work seemingly validated, the crowd cheered on their representative, who stood proudly at the front of the stage, before being escorted out by the actors.
The encore began with the most flashy moment of the show: its penultimate song and Madeon’s most recent single, “Gonna Be Good”. At its start, the stage illuminated, suddenly revealing Madeon to be on an elevated platform 20 feet above the stage. Donning his black cloak and bolero hat outfit that inspired many a cosplay, Madeon crooned, “We’re gonna be good/ I’m gonna make a world like no one else/ And it’s gonna be yours”. It came off as a mission statement for the experience of the show itself. Seeing how wild the crowd went to every dramatic change of the screen’s imagery, and how loud they screamed the song’s lyrics, it would be hard to argue that he didn’t achieve those goals.
After his climactic final song, “Shelter”, Madeon remained on stage to briefly chat with the audience. Still showing no signs of fatigue, he proceeded to tenderly describe his attachment to the Good Faith Forever Tour, with the lights dimmed, and the screen off. “This chapter of my life, I will absolutely cherish forever, and I’m so happy we all gathered here to celebrate together”, he said with a wide smile. It was a moment that contrasted with the overwhelming spectacle of the prior hour and a half, but one that felt just as powerful and earnest. As Madeon basked in the deafening applause and cheers of fans, a screen of credits began to roll behind him. Upon his departure, the once kaleidoscopic screen showed just one simple message: “SEE YOU NEXT ERA”.
You can listen to Madeon’s latest single, “Gonna Be Good (Live Edit)” below: