They say you only get one chance to make a good first impression, and if this advice is to be taken to heart, then you can bet Avicii believes it. Premiering at Pacha NYC, and debuting as one of the more highly anticipated DJs in recent memory, the young Swede took the reins, wrapped them firmly around all our necks, and roped us straight to House Heaven – which, in case you’ve never been, is an amalgam of Sweden, France, and the Netherlands. Mr. Fingers serves as the gatekeeper, and Boys Noize hands out cupcakes.
Though he made his name in the studio, Avicii demonstrated not only the depth of his skills, but their breadth. He’s come a long way from the Avicii behind “My Feelings for You.” The budding DJ now competes in the same arena as David Guetta, Afrojack, Kaskade, and Chuckie. His technical skills were nearly flawless, and the track selection was impeccable. Some highlights: Swedish House Mafia’s “Leave the World Behind,” Duck Sauce’s “aNYway” (of “Barbra Streisand” fame), Axwell’s remix of Temper Trap’s “Sweet Disposition,” and, of course, the token tune of brotherly love, “Bromance.”
With the clubbers holding their breath in anticipation for drop after drop, there was at the same time something about the set that exuded a lush sense of serenity. This was musical performance at its most refined: a mélange of tempestuousness and tranquility, of fervor and form. At times the plasticity of youth did seep through, as he teased with a snippet of the new mashup “Bromance (The Love You Seek)”. While his talent would belie this fact, Avicii isn’t some statue who solely excels in the art of mixing. His aural pirouettes are a delight, and this visible passion for music will serve him well going forward.
And he could not have chosen a better venue in which to debut. A full-to-the-brim Pacha was the place to be that night, with its enthralling visuals, zephyrs of fog, the so-called “shower babes,” and an air horn that just wouldn’t quit.
Avicii’s meteoric rise leads one to ponder: is the Swedish House Mafia recruiting?