With the PSI reading steadily climbing on Sunday evening, it could perhaps be considered a tad unfortunate for Zouk to have planned Avicii’s return to Singapore, his last gig on our sunny shores being at Zoukout last year, at Siloso Beach Sentosa. The less than ideal weather, coupled with the fact that the rave was scheduled on a Sunday night, led to some skepticism if the atmosphere and crowd spirit would be affected by these exogenous and unpredictable factors.
Yet Bandwagon headed down to Siloso beach with an open mind. And boy, we were not disappointed. Despite all that nature threw his way that night, Avicii lived up to his title as one of the top 3 DJs in the world, ensuring that his avid fans and EDM enthusiasts were left with an unforgettable experience. The crowd started streaming in at about 9pm, with DJs Goldfish and Blink, Syn Cole and the CyberJapan Dancers from Japan entertaining and building up the excitement within the crowd before Avicii finally took the stage at about 10pm on an elevated deck in front of a cheering audience.
Opening with “I Could Be The One”, one of his more recent collaborations with Nicky Romero, Tim Bergling’s strong start with a crowd favourite was met with much delight from the audience, as he accompanied his track with stunning arrays of visuals and innovative projections. His two-hour set was marked with smooth transitions, with him playing on the hooks in his tracks, making sure that the audience was brought back to the essence of his music each time he changed up his songs a little.
Perhaps he could have taken a little more liberty with the remixes, but Avicii was still ultimately a crowd pleaser, and the local audience seemed to take well to familiarity and recognizable tunes. It was almost as if Avicii could sense it, as he cleverly mixed in current hits like “Thriftshop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia and “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap, to complement his tunes, with the audience encouraging him by singing along loudly. Despite all the controversy surrounding recent criticism that Tim Bergling’s music is becoming increasingly mainstream, his ability to work a crowd and the level of professionalism he displayed was undeniable, and it was testament to how far the 23 year-old EDM star has come.
As the wind got stronger at Siloso beach, the crowd cheered louder with each gust, almost like they were tempting the heavens to unleash its fury on them. And it did. It was about an hour into Avicii’s set when rain started pouring over Siloso Beach, drenching the crowd, as they had nowhere to take shelter. But this did not dampen the mood any bit, as the crowd started insistently demanding that Avicii played more of his well-known hits, and he delivered, with his signature tunes “Fade Into Darkness” and “Enough is Enough”. It was a sight to behold, with the young and (relatively) old waving light sticks and dancing together as the rain furiously beat down on them. It was almost as if they now shared a common bond, a unique experience. And as the atmosphere in the crowd reached its peak, Avicii gave it one last push by closing the night with “Levels”, arguably one of his best songs to date.
Perhaps it was the after effects of an amazing performance, but there was some hesitation from the crowd to leave, most people probably holding their breaths that there would be a second set, or at least an encore, but it was not to be. Regardless, the two-hour set was everything we expected and more. Overheard from fans leaving the beach - “I raved to Avicii in the pouring rain, it was awesome.” And you know what? It really was.