Next up, as the second-to-last performer or the night, would be Maxence, currently one of the most successful artists to hail from Europe. The venue goes dark as the camera pans over to the main stage, a round platform in the center of the venue with a futuristic dome-like structure above to which several LED screens are attached, and the stage set-up for Max’s performance is revealed. The stage floor is lit up in bronze hues with a massive pyramid flanked by two smaller ones providing the backdrop and serving as props for this performance. The LED screens above the stage simulate a deep blue sky and create a nighttime desert setting alongside two huge faux palm trees that rise up from underneath the stage floor via hidden elevators. A new instrumental, belonging to a ‘Prime’ album track titled ‘Élitaire’, starts playing, and as its metallic electro pulse sweeps through the venue, the biggest pyramid out of the three on stage opens up with smoke coming out and a familiar silhouette stepping forward: That of Maxence.
The EMA crowd roars with cheers and as the smoke clears, Max’s outfit becomes visible. He is donning a white oversized latex shirt along with silver-studded arm sleeves and matching shorts while his blonde hair is tousled to his trademark level of messy perfection. Exuding confidence and determination, Max delivers lyrics to the new song with a smooth, rap-like flow: “Watch me put the art in artifice / Per this, per that, bet I still persist”. As he is performing what appears to be one of the verses from ‘Élitaire’, six dancers dressed in exotic, tropical, skin-revealing get-ups covered with colorful patterns emerge from beneath the stage and join Maxence in an army-like formation with three of them to either side of him. They strut towards the raging crowd in a fierce and perfectly synchronized manner as what might be the chorus of ‘Élitaire’ fades out and morphs into the familiar opening synths of ‘Pyramids’, the #1 lead single released off of ‘Prime’.
While the instrumental transitions, Maxence and his dancers perform a material-arts-inspired dance sequence which sees Max getting tackled by a male and a female dancer. The two dancers then proceed to violently and quickly tear apart Max’s white protective clothing to reveal another outfit that matches theirs underneath. A skintight bodysuit plastered with patterns that resemble the hieroglyphics-covered walls of the inside of a pyramid, the look is topped off by a matching pair of espadrilles and offers a peek at Max’s toned, tan chest through rips in the upper section of the outfit. After his fast outfit change, Maxence proceeds to perform the first verse, the first pre-chorus and the chorus of ‘Pyramids’ alongside his dancers that are positioned on the elevated platform behind him. As the song progresses, the platform begins to rotate and the pyramid located in the center of it lights up in different colors as the dancers and eventually also Maxence climb on top of it, literally acting out the song’s hook line (“Move mountains just with fingertips, and then we’ll climb the pyramids”). After singing the chorus, Max, who is sitting on top of the pyramid, jumps down and lands elegantly and safely on the stage floor as the middle eight portion of the ‘Pyramids’ instrumental starts to morph into the bridge of ‘Ritual’.
Water fountains erupt from from the pyramids, torpadoing water into the hair and resulting in Maxence and his dancers getting soaking wet. To add to the flooding of the stage, two waterfalls come cascading down the ceiling to each side of Maxence, making for a breathtaking sight. Max, whose body is now dripping with water, and his back-up dancers break into a hard-hitting choreo that sees them maneuvering through the fountains shooting their way while Maxence belts out the chorus of ‘Ritual’ to end his performance on an extremely high and wet note. “Won’t you leave me, me, me / Dripping with sweet nectar / Perform your ritual / And sacrifice my heart”, Maxence chants as he finishes off his medley, skipping the final song’s post-chorus. The venue explodes with applause and a chorus of cheers and screams as Max flashes a charming smile and takes a deep bow together with his crew of dancers.