Summer quickly disappeared from most New Yorkers minds recently as the temperature began to plummet, and fashionable fall fashions started to resurface around the city. It was the perfect setting for Ralph Lauren’s new spokesperson, Avicii, to make music history at Radio City Music Hall. September 27th wasn’t just an ordinary Thursday in New York City. Up until this moment, no other DJ has had the opportunity to play such an iconic venue. For Avicii, the idea was “unbelievable”, but to the fans it was something much more. It was the opportunity to be permanently placed into Avicii’s heart forever, because for him it was more than just another show… this was historic.
Radio City has offered countless sold out concerts, plays and events since the 1930’s. This was completely different than anything that building has ever seen. Never would it have imagined young men and women, frolicking around the main hall in neon and glow sticks. The sounds of the Swedish superstar DJ would soon be blasting through the hall. History was about to be made on this Wednesday and Thursday nights.
As the doors opened around 7:00, thousands of jolly fans scattered around the building. Since the show itself didn’t begin till about 8:00, there was plenty of time to browse around and admire the beautiful venue. Radio City was ready. The fans were ready. Let’s start this party!
Cazzette made their way to the black empty stage at exactly 8pm. Decks were turned on and this party was officially under way. As the crowd continued to pile into their seats, the main stage remained pitch black with one small light aimed directly down onto the Swedish DJs. Their song, “Beam Me Up”, definitely got the crowd moving. It seemed pretty fitting that they played their own dubby version of “Nigga’s In Paris” (Cazzette & Ash 'That Shit Cray' Mix). Even still, Sebastian Furrer and Alexander Björklund knew that this was strictly a warm up set. With absolutely no lights and the volume being nearly a quarter of what Avicii’s was; it was just a way for Cazzette to be a part of history.
There was a 15-minute intermission following Cazzette’s set. As all the lights turned completely on for one last time, it was clearly visible that Radio City was at full capacity. There was energy in the crowd that was simply unmatchable and so indescribable, it would give people goose bumps just thinking about it. The above mezzanines were so packed and wild, that it was close to impossible not to turn around frequently and admire the raging crowd. Finally, all the lights were shut off and the two huge curtains that draped the stage so elegantly slowly began to open.
Avicii was finally about to give New York exactly what they had been craving. It was around 9pm when Tim Bergling finally ascended to the top of the “Avicii dome”. Maybe he should Trademark that? Anyways the room was still pitch-black, but the lower half of this
monstrous face began filling up slowly with a white light.
A slow enticing melody began to play, like powerful theme music in a movie. This made way for the 1971 classic “Baba O’ Riley” by the Who, which sent scattered rainbow patches quickly throughout the huge head. As the lyrics were quickly mixed into “Penguin” by Avicii, more lights began turning on below and above the decks. There was one row of red lights on the bottom, with two additional rows up top. The lights seemed as if they had a mind of their own, bouncing around vigorously, waiting for the next beat to drop. As “Penguin” began to slowly wind down and the classical vocals reached its peak, there was silence for a second. Then “Bong” by Deniz Koyu dropped massively, sending screams and roars and hands and arms and glow sticks and vibrations and… I think you get the point. The crowd was insane, as if they were rioting in place, staring at a spectacular much greater than the Rockettes. The only thing more unpredictable than the crowd, was Avicii himself.
After he mixed “Bong” into his own “Fade into Darkness”, it was straight heavy, hard hitting electro beats from there on out. He dropped that into a much more underrated song by The Sleeze called, “I Am The Greatest”. Then all of sudden, the face turned blue and small square buttons started lighting up two at a time. The fast paced, “Superlove” started shooting yellow laser lights everywhere. Once the Lenny Kravitz vocals came on, the lasers vanished and the head went straight white. The following songs included “The Veldt” by Deamau5, Avicii’s “Seek Bromance”, and “Silhouettes”, Robyn’s “Hang With Me” (Avicii Club Mix), “Dancing In My Head” (Eric Turner vs. Avicii) Avicii's Been Cursed Remix, David Guetta and Avicii’s masterpiece, “Sunshine”, and of course, “Levels”.
Avicii put on a show no one else could match, just because of the talented producer he is. Some DJs have a certain style about them that separates them from the rest. There are only a select few in this elite group, but Avicii is definitely one of them. He had two hours to give New York everything he had. He dropped other tracks like “Don’t You Worry Child” and “Antidote” by Swedish House Mafia, even “She Wolf” by David Guetta. The man literally played everything you could possibly ask for. My favorite song of the night hands down was Avicii’s “Go Deep” (Torro Torro Remix). Radio City just absolutely exploded as soon as it dropped.
The fans wanted an encore. They wanted more. Avicii gave them Kernkraft 400’s “Zombie Nation”, to send everyone home knowing that their mind just got blown.
You knew right from the beginning that Avicii had brought something very special with him to Radio City that day. His set was breathtaking and absolutely unbelievable. It wasn’t the usual soft, regular, tired out vocals set we normally hear. He took Radio City by the throat and showed it who was boss that night. For two magical nights in New York City, Tim Bergling was on top of the world.
-Justin Marchese for EDMNYC