By Wal Reid
Date / Venue: Friday February 27th, Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
It was billed as the hottest ticket of the summer a massive outdoor summer party complete with 3D mapping and mind blowing projections to send off Summer (god forbid we should advance into Winter).
Avicii is more of a simple ingénu than a Swedish superstar DJ. The Swede has been amidst hyped due to his recent flirting's with mainstream musical styles and mixing it up with his own House infused beats, a money spinning combination that has brought the 23-year old international success, especially on the soulful Aloe Blacc track Wake Me Up and the southern hoedown of Hey Brother.
Now it was Auckland's turn to party with Avicii as he turned up the temperature churning out classics the crowd had come for, You Make Me, Levels, Wake Me Up rung out across the stadium and eagerly lapped up by concert revellers who by now were letting their inhibitions go letting out a spontaneous ‘Whoomp! There it is" or crowd chants a l'Avicii karaoke.
Swedish flags even made an appearance (annoying when you're behind THE flag) while somebody thought to take it upon themselves to start head butting me like a billy goat around the now packed crowd. All part and parcel of an outdoor festival obviously, but for those serious booty shakers Avicii continued mixing in an out of his well-known signature tunes I Could Be The One and Silhouettes maintained the equilibrium again settling the boisterous crowd.
Avicii was in control hunched behind the giant screen, two giant screens flanked the stage beaming out his cartoonish image to the crowd while the 3D projections were at times spellbinding a visual fest that heightened the EDM experience. At times however it felt like he was going through the motions and the transition between songs wasn't what you would call smooth sometimes killing the vibe especially when coming down to a slower track like Addicted To You, also the omission of about a half a dozen songs I was waiting for didn't turn kind of killed it for me.
However, the crowd didn't care and threw their hands in the air (pretty much all night). For me Afrojackstole the show, his high energy set never lost the crowd and have to say that I was quite surprised out of the lot he was the most animated DJ on the podium.
I think Avicii put it nicely as he left the stage, however I am yet to be convinced. "This has been the most enjoyable show in the last six years" hmmm.