There’s something deeper to Avicii’s live sets. Between the pumping beats, the beautifully mixed electro bangers and the roar of the crowd, there is something there that makes you want to jump to your feet and dance.
Last Thursday, Avicii’s Le7els tour blew through San Francisco at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. The trickle of colorful concert-goers pouring into the floor turned into a torrent around 8 p.m., as the fans were eager to catch the opening act by the rising Swedish House stars Cazzette. The duo pulled their weight even in comparison with the main attraction Avicii, pumping the crowd full of energy with their sizzling bass and hair-raising chopped synths.
Following Cazzette, Swedish electro heavyweight Chuckie took the stage. Opening up with his popular, “Who is Ready to Jump” the crowd took the cue and started pounding the floor. Chuckie brought his own special flavor to the event, mixing in Dutch kicks and lines with Swedish synths. It was sad, however, to notice that he didn’t play the song that rocketed him to fame, “What Happens in Vegas”. By the time Chuckie began wrapping up, the auditorium was loaded with anticipation for Avicii. Even the seats behind the main floor began to undulate with the thousands of fans who took to the upper section for a better view of Avicii’s opening.
A little past 10, Chuckie’s set came to an end and the lights dimmed. Finally the curtains lifted and there he was.
Avicii, a.k.a. Tim Berg, never does things halfway. While it’s apparent in his tracks, which are all meticulously mastered at the expense of more frequent releases, it’s also obvious in the way he conducts his live sets as well. His DJ station was positioned at the top of a massive white head which a projector lit up, giving the impression that it was singing along to the tunes, melting, or even breaking apart and reforming in time with the music. Behind that was another solid wall of LED screens which added to the vibrancy of the auditorium. And of course, lasers. Lots of lasers.
The crowd was caught up in a wave of euphoria as Avicii opened up with his well-known electro banger “Levels.” The worldwide hit immediately brought out all the tension of the intermission and turned the floor into a seething mass of sweaty bodies pounding the floor in unison to the kick drum. The feeling in the room was indeed electric, and as the giant head began “singing” the chorus of the song, so did the thousands of fans who had shown up to hear it. It was an incredible beginning to an incredible set.
Avicii played the part of DJ wonderfully, slipping his tunes in with other artists’ content. He teased the audience with the beginning of “Penguin (Fade into Darkness)” before switching it up to a completely different drop that held the audience captivated. If there had been an encore, it would probably have been the rest of “Penguin”, but sadly that never materialized. Avicii also mixed in the tunes of the recently broken up Swedish House Mafia — among them a bootlegged version of “Save the World” and “Greyhound.” Then, Avicii took it to the next level (pun intended).
In the build-up of an unreleased song, the top part of the head, which held Avicii and his DJ station, detached from the main part of the set-up. Held up by wires, the pod began to track over the crowd until it reached the middle of the auditorium. Underneath the pod, a set of dazzling strobes lit up the floor and stands. Finally, Avicii let the song drop and the crowd went insane. Beat after beat, the floor shook as the entire auditorium let the music take control.
About 30 minutes later, the head began retracting back to its starting position, as “Levels” once again began fading in to wrap up the amazing set. Avicii and his team pulled off the night flawlessly. T0gether, they lit up the summer of thousands of Bay Area residents with their European electro talent.
Comments should remain on topic, concerning the article or blog post to which they are connected. Brevity is encouraged. Posting under a pseudonym is discouraged, but permitted. The Daily Cal encourages readers to voice their opinions respectfully in regard to the readers, writers and contributors of The Daily Californian. Comments are not pre-moderated, but may be removed if deemed to be in violation of this policy. Click here to read the full comment policy.