As the New York City media sat in their TV trucks outside Barclays Center Saturday night waiting for something to go wrong at Avicii's True Tour
stop in Brooklyn, concertgoers headed into the venue hoping to see a show of epic proportions. First, Barclays Center did a great job preparing for what could have happened based on the problems at the Boston show. Everything seemed like it went off without a hitch Saturday night on that front.
The excitement going into last Saturday’s True Tour
stop in Brooklyn was definitely there, but about 35 minutes into Avicii's set that totally changed. Back in August and October of 2013 I had attended two shows where DJ Mag’s #3 ranked DJ performed. The first was night one of Electric Zoo
2013. Obviously a festival atmosphere, and a great one at that. The second in October at Roseland Ballroom was sponsored by Ralph Lauren's Denim & Supply. Small venue, great crowd and great set overall. So based on those two experiences, I thought seeing Avicii a third time on tour would be a great idea.
But alas, I was wrong.
Enjoyed the opening set by Henrik B. Good music, great energy. The crowd on the floor seemed to be enjoying themselves as well. Around 9:40 PM Avicii hit the stage. He opened with ‘Hey Brother’
... it was good but I didn’t think it was high energy enough for an opening track at an arena. In the first 25-30 minutes he banged out a few more songs from his most recent album 'True,’ and it was great.
Then came the middle section of his set. I am all for playing a songs by other artists, especially ones that are crowd-pleasers. But, I also want to hear the person that I paid to see play their own music, or at least some interesting remixes of other songs. Personally, I loved hearing a remixed version of Swedish House Mafia’s
‘Don’t You Worry Child’ and Armin Van Buuren’s ‘This Is What It Feels Like,’
but that’s where I draw the line. Basically, everyone else’s music was played including but not limited to Calvin Harris
, Martin Garrix
, Eric Prydz
. You can see where this is going.
If I wanted to see Calvin Harris or Afrojack I would have went to KTUphoria on Sunday. If I wanted to see Eric Prydz I would go in October to his EPIC show at Madison Square Garden. If I wanted to see Martin Garrix ...
By the time Avicii got back to his own music every person in the three rows in front of and behind me had been sitting down for at least 20 minutes, patiently waiting for what they paid for. Finally, he played ‘Silhouettes’. It was good, not awesome. Heard ‘Liar, Liar’ and ‘Dear Boy’ and by that point it was over for me. As tempting as it was to stay and give it one final chance I didn't. And I wasn't the only one, as several people had already departed Barclays Center and continued to. Could they have left for the same reasons? Maybe.
The things that most of us love when we go to shows: lights, pyro and lasers were on point.
As for the set, I won't be begging for anyone to put it on Soundcloud or YouTube. This review should be more extensive but I couldn't bear to stick around any longer.
Is Avicii talented? Absolutely. Is he a great producer?
Definitely. Is he great in an arena setting? Not so much.
Two things were solidified for me after this show: Kaskade
and Armin Van Buuren
are my favorites for a reason and that will never change.