Concert review: Avicii

Harvey Rae
Avicii. Picture: Ben Crabtree/The West Australian

Monday, January 27
Three stars
Perth Arena

Review: Harvey Rae

After cancelling his Future Music Festival headline appearance last year because of illness, Perth finally got the chance to witness the world's current king of EDM, Swedish superstar Avicii, whose past 12 months have left other commercial crossover DJs such as David Guetta in his dust.

Much of the hype surrounding Avicii recently stemmed from his forays into styles not often associated with house music, in particular folksy Aloe Blacc collaboration Wake Me Up and bluegrass inspired hit Hey Brother.

So it was a shame that live in concert the hard work he has done to distance himself from the pack was compromised in a by-the-numbers DJ set, with no additional vocalists or instruments joining him on stage during the two-hour show, just the usual peaks and drops from a man who could have simply been hitting the spacebar on his laptop for all we knew.

Add to that a safe track selection, and it left an impressive visual display to make the night a success. While the incessant strobes were too much at times, the visuals were all class. Two big screens flanked either side of the stage while behind Avicii a vast hexagonal structure combined with a DJ booth, which was also made out of screens, to create the effect of 3-D images hurtling towards the audience.

One particularly good example started with a galaxy of stars that slowly focused in on a planet growing bigger and bigger until it seemed to jump off the screen.

Opening with Hey Brother got the attention of the arena, with everyone from the floor to the cheap seats rising to their feet. The modest crowd stayed on their feet as Avicii moved through tracks briskly. His mixes often featured only brief segments of songs, jumping from one track to another in an almost mash-up style more commonly associated with hip-hop than EDM and perfect for those with short attention spans.

Generally his own tracks were most successful, particularly You Make Me, Dear Boy and Levels. The loudest singalong, however, was to countrymen Swedish House Mafia's Don't You Worry Child.

Rihanna, Florence, the Temper Trap and Coldplay all got an airing alongside big-room bangers such as Zedd and Ellie Goulding's Fall into the Sky and Armin van Buuren's This Is What It Feels Like.

It all came to a spectacular end with smoke and lights bursting from the stage as Avicii dropped Wake Me Up to a snowstorm of white confetti - a grand finale to a show that offered plenty of entertainment for fans and those not looking for anything too deep, the dark confines of the arena proved a good venue for a rave.