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Review: Avicii Opening Party 2013

The electro prince delivers an insightful performance to open his residency at Ushuaïa.

In the last few years the global dance community has experienced a dramatic change: the arrival of America and the burgeoning 'EDM' explosion that has accompanied her. Across the globe areas of the electronic dance scene have experienced something new - mass acceptance from an unprecedented population level; dance has broken through the mainstream barrier. A young Swede named Tim Berger might be considered the premiere poster boy for this rapid revolution. Berger is best known by his stage name - Avicii.

Who else then but Ushuaïa, with its lavish service, quirks and commitment to throwing the most opulent outdoor parties could host Avicii's Sunday night residency on the island. The young producer has a pen chance for large-scale production set-ups - and the addition of Ushuaïa's seminal boat party excursion only added to what seemed like a modern musical landmark.

It all began by the sea. At 2pm the boat party - split between two vessels due to high demand - set 'sail' from San Antonio under an enthusiastically beating sun - with a highly animated contingent on board. A pleasingly punchy sound was provided by onboard Funktion One stacks as the floating microcosm of carefree positivity skirted the feet of the islands rocky, alien cliffs. The selektor, provided by, provided a wealth of scratching, cross-fading experimentation - using old school finesse to deliver new school music in the form of popular crowd-pleasing house. The sangria-fuelled ecstasy pulsed to the rising rush of the engine wake and sporadic boat horn synth lines, creating an original, soulful atmosphere that transcended any genre-based preconceptions. Perhaps it is the feeling of such hedonistic isolation, or the accidental companionship that spreads through the vessel but there seems to be something intangibly special - and enjoyable - about a boat party. The revelers were aimed at San An's 'Plastik' bar for emergency hydration purposes before a bus whisked them to the waiting Ushuaïa. Opting for a carb pit stop and a longer journey by bus, foot and crook it was time for me to brave the bursting doors of the Ushuaïa club.

There is a chance the humidity level inside was the sole product of human sweat. After warm-up artists Demot C and Jakob Liedholm played to an already near capacity venue, Swede Henrik B took to the yawning wooden mouth of the main stage. The relative veteran delivered a relatively safe sound - in comparison to forthcoming exploits - using more classic progressive keys and patterns. Ultra Records Fedde Le Grand - MC in tow - proclaimed 'real music - for real people'. Scuttling synth stabs wrestled with sporadic wisps of melody and stomping electro-house in a crowd-pleasing rhumba complete with heady doses of flame.

Avicii was ushered to the stage by a gaggle of security guards. Manic love abounded. It is important to note that the industry star - despite his success - remains thoroughly grounded within his own shifting musical exploration. Infamously delivering a country and western-style interlude in the midst of his Ultra Music Festival performance it seems that to him preconceptions and expectations are non-existent trifles. Billowing ice cannons and frighteningly epileptic lighting framed his lone - capped - silhouette as true to recent form Berger shifted through a genre bending set. Acid house, hip hop, classical orchestra and snatches of techno all burst through Berger's brand of progressive electro laden house. Without warning rural, barn dance rhythms were married to mid-tempo kicks and chords whilst an acapella of The Temptations - Papa was a Rolling Stone segued into a clattering synth-led bridge. Is Avicii just a young man exploring himself musically - albeit on an international stage? If so, it makes for an unexpectedly interesting experience: a highly self-indulgent - or completely selfless - exhibition.

Avicii specialises in music that makes its listeners feel carefree and thrilled. Choosing the exotic, outdoor space of Ushuaïa and its vibrant production gives a party that is an exuberant continuation of this effect - Avicii's star will continue to rise. Tickets for all future events are available via Spotlight on the calendar below.

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