Avicii is one of the biggest names in the growing EDM craze sweeping America; if you haven’t heard “Levels” you’ve probably not watched television, attended a sporting event, or gone to a social function featuring people under the age of 35 in the last year. It’s okay if you don’t know the 23-year old Swedish house music phenomenon, because he might have just cut his own career short with a head-scratching performance at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami.
The Ultra Music Festival celebrated its 15th anniversary this year and the 2012 Festival saw 165,000 fans flood Bayfront Park in Miami to dance and pop molly. So….. perfect time for Avicii to go experimental! With a headlining lineup featuring Tiesto and the end of Swedish House Mafia’s smash-hit tour One Last Tour, Avicii had a lot to live up to on the main stage at this year’s Ultra and stunned concertgoers by switching gears (and genres?) in the middle of the set. While this might be cool in some festivals, the crowd at Ultra wants to dance; and wants to dance fucking hard.
So for Avicii to stop the crowd from going ham to “Levels” and bring out instruments (you know, that actually *make* music) and singers to go along with his set is mind-blowing.
And if you listen to the silence in the video below (around the 4:oo minute mark) after “Levels” and before these people take the stage and the subsequent music and reaction, you’d know this was a horrible idea.
Sound is Style already broke down the crowd and fan reaction in glorious detail with photos and social media commentary here.
I’ll just put it this way: It gets ugly.
As for Avicii’s response, he took to Facebook to defend the set, which is I guess a part of Avicii’s new album. I respect Avicii for trying out some new material, but maaaan did he pick the wrong place for it.