Live Review, 6/28/12: Avicii at Bill Graham Civic: This Is Why America Likes EDM

See also:

* The Top 10 Most Ridiculous Crowd Shots from Avicii's Show at Bill Graham Civic


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

Better than: Dancing in a small, dark basement with people who obsess over rare music. Ha! No, it wasn't better than that at all.

Up at the top of a very large model of the human head, just inside what would be the scalp, 22-year-old Swedish house producer Avicii is grinning like a kid who just hit his first home run. Bouncing around inside his perch, he looks like a goofy little boy inside a man, wearing a plain gray T-shirt and backwards baseball cap, waving one arm in the air. Below him, the giant head sits like a sentinel, unmoving except for the patterns of light shined on it. These patterns shift in lockstep with the music, a crisp guttural throb that sends palpitations through every surface in the room, including one's own chest.

The big head is stunningly appropriate, because everything that's happening — from the tectonic bass to the aurora-shaming ejaculations of neon light — is on a superhuman scale: So big, so bright, so smoothly relentless. The only thing is to surrender. And that is what 8,000 people are doing, to varying degrees: Twirling, shimmying, swaying, but mostly bouncing up and down with one or both hands in the air, smiling. Many are in various states of near-nudity. Who knows what they're on.


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