Thursday, Jan. 26 was the night almost every college student in upstate New York has been looking forward to for a while: Avicii finally came to Rochester’s Main Street Armory.
Saying that the line to get into the Armory was long is an understatement. I’ve been to several shows at the venue and I’ve never seen it even close to as crowded as it was Thursday night.
After waiting for about 45 minutes to get in — ironically the same amount of time it took me to get into Avicii’s New Years Eve show in New York City, which sold 11,000 tickets, while this one sold around 5,000 — I finally got into the Armory just in time for Dutch DJ/producer Prophet’s mediocre opening set.
Finally, at about 10 p.m., Avicii got behind the decks and opened with a seamless bootleg, which is a mixture of a mashup and a remix, of his track “Fade Into Darkness” with Florence & the Machine’s “You’ve Got The Love.”
He continued with another impressive bootleg consisting of his Grammy-nominated track with David Guetta, “Sunshine,” along with another Florence & the Machine song.
About mid-set Avicii finally dropped the track everyone was waiting to hear all night: “Levels.”
But it wasn’t the “Levels” you hear at every frat party, every club, and even at the supermarket — it was “Level’s (Vitzi’s Old School Intro Edit)” — a fresh, newer version, with an elongated sample of the vocals from Etta James’ “Something’s Got A Hold On Me,” which got the entire Armory — all 5,000 attendees — singing “Oooh,w sometimes I get a good feeling” together. It was magical to say the least.
Other highlights were when Avicii dropped his not-yet-released collaboration with Nicky Romero, bootlegged with Justice’s always popular “D.A.N.C.E.” and when he played my very favorite of his remixes, “Drowning,” originally by the trance king, Armin Van Buuren.
Something that makes any DJ set different from a live concert is the fact that many DJs these days throw in other people’s songs and not just their own. Avicii chose some good tracks to throw into his set that he didn’t produce — he played Alesso’s “Raise Your Head,” Dada Life’s “Kick Out The Epic,” Tommy Trash’s remix of Dirty South & Thomas Gold’s “Alive,” Alesso’s remixes of David Guetta & Sia’s “Titanium” and Swedish House Mafia’s epic “Save the World.”
I was very surprised that he didn’t play Alesso & Sebastian Ingrosso’s “Calling,” as it was arguably one of the biggest electronic dance tracks of 2011 and almost every DJ seems to have it somewhere in their sets.
At about 11:30 p.m. he closed with Skrillex’s remix of the famous “Levels,” leaving the crowd wanting more. All in all, it was definitely a good time, but I was surprised at how short his set was, especially because he was missing a few tracks that I thought he was guaranteed to play, like his popular “My Feelings For You” and his remixes of Robyn’s “Hang With Me,” Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” and Tiësto’s “Escape Me,” all of which generated a great response at his New Years show.
Rochester was toward the end of Avicii’s 25 day House For Hunger Tour, where Avicii and his manager Ash teamed up with Feeding America to raise$1 million to fight hunger in America.
As the electronic music blog Whomping Stereo puts it, “on top of being highly beneficial to the country that has shown so much support for Avicii, this tour will highlight the positive aspects of a genre of music that is so often marred by bad press.”
Avicii is doing something great and it doesn’t look like he’s stopping anytime soon; he’s off to Europe after this tour, has many new songs coming out soon and is set to play in the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 15th and 20th in Indio, Calif.
Scheinberg is a member of the class of 2013.