I had never seen a line at The Armory like the one I witnessed this past Friday for Alison Wonderland and Dillon Francis. Shivering masses huddled together as the line snaked its way around the corner. The wait, however, was worth it. Two EDM titans coupled with excellent audio and visual production made for an electrifying night.
I, unfortunately, wasn’t able to get in until halfway through Wonderland’s set. It was a bummer, the Aussie expat is one of my favorite DJ’s to see live. She brings a raw energy and stage presence that few others in the EDM world can match. This was my first time seeing her since her 2018 album Awake, and it was a pleasure hearing highlights from that album. “Good Enough” and “Easy” came both with live vocals, and “Good Enough” even featured a live cello.
After a brief changeover break, Dillon Francis took to the stage and brought what’s helped catapult his career in recent years: a goofy, crass, in-your-face sense of humor. In addition to his blistering moombahton-inspired beats, Francis’ visuals are an absolute treat. Bright pastels shine on massive LED walls, and memes plaster the screen. Francis is another EDM act that has found himself careening into pop in recent years, and it was less than exciting to hear more vanilla cuts like “Anywhere.”
Unfortunately, due to the tour’s need to be in Chicago the next morning at 8 AM, the show ended much earlier than fans were expecting (EDM shows at The Armory usually go until 2), and the internet has not been happy. A promised back-to-back set from Wonderland and Francis was cut short, they only had time to play their collaboration track and namesake of the tour, “Lost My Mind.” It’s important to keep in mind that these logistical issues are out of The Armory’s hands. Many tours don’t want set times published so as to encourage people to show up early.
Issues aside, it was a blast to see these two huge names come together for a night of pure sonic bliss.