Published Jun 07, 2011Montreal's Metropolis was the venue for the world premiere of Amon Tobin's much-anticipated large-scale stage show. The curtain pulled back, revealing a strange structure consisting of stacked white cubes with one large block in the centre. Behind the frosted glass of the largest cube, you could just about make out the silhouetted form of Amon Tobin in his trademark baseball cap. The music started, in synch with huge projections mapped over the top of the stage set: plumes of smoke, crumbling rocks, the cosmos, flickering stars, futuristic cities. Nebulae formed and dissolved, reforming in time with the music, and at times, the projections made it appear as if the whole structure was shaking. A couple of songs into the set, the "frosted" glass, which turned out was also a projection, gave way to reveal Tobin at the controls of a kind of cubist spaceship. During "Lost & Found," the set was transformed with glowing embers that pulsed with every beat, giving way to Tron-like green grids. Having played only ISAM material, Tobin treated the crowd to an encore that lasted nearly as long as the main set, featuring a fluid set of reinterpretations of older tracks, such as "Four Ton Mantis," threaded together with heavy and dynamic new pieces. Despite perhaps being too long, it was an incredibly ambitious visual performance that went off without a hitch and proved to be one hell of a way to launch MUTEK 2011.