Avicii at Lollapalooza 2012 | Photos and music review
Pegged as the Deadmau5 of this year’s fest, Perry’s stage ex-pats assembled in all of their neon finery for Swedish DJ Avicii. Aided by an enormous white face, Tim Bergling produced his way through an audio-visual extravaganza that left no fists unpumped.
But before the beats started flowing, that damn head really cast an ominous presence. At least half an hour before Bergling ever appeared, it just sat there in silence, like the delivery of a new Millennium Park statue had gone awry. Suddenly, a giant pulse of sound shook the stage as Bergling appeared on top of the forehead. While hopes of a North By Northwest Mount Rushmore reenactment quickly died, he instead stuck to Djing and appeasing those hyperactive teens in short-shorts.
Bergling knew that to capture the crowd’s attention, he’d have to make sure they recognized who he was by strategically playing “Levels” first, one of his two big hits. He goofily mimed along with the Etta James sample and vigorously fist-pumped to beat after beat. But the reputation of Avicii’s graphics seemed to fall short of the actual event. Unlike a last-show spectacular, the visuals were mostly screensavers appearing behind him. Between that and the gigantic white head, the scene was probably what would go down if a kabuki mask walked into a rave.
The way Bergling positioned himself, it was difficult to decipher what exactly he did during the set. Sure, he was wearing headphones and throwing his hand in the air, but did he merely hit a giant “play” button? Or was actual mixing involved? The whole scene was a bit Man Behind the Curtain, but perhaps, for the sake of the frat bros, those questions are better left unanswered.
All the same, Avicii continued to ride that giant white head into the moonlight, rolling through tracks like “Seek Bromance,” “I Need a Miracle,” and his edit of “Blessed” by Tom Hangs ft. Shermanology. To say the scene was weird would be an understatement, but Avicii appeased his crowd and offered the climactic finish promised to the EDM set. There isn’t much more one could want.