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Review: Avicii Opening Party at Ushuaïa 2014

The excitement at Ushuaïa Ibiza for Avicii began at 5pm and never dipped throughout the whole evening…

Sundays are usually associated with roast dinners, nursing a hangover and that feeling of dread for the inevitable Monday morning. Here in Ibiza, Avicii made it clear that Sunday evenings are all about him as he took to the stage for his residency's opening party at Ushuaïa.

A plethora of different nationalities were spinning the decks from five o'clock with Russian EDM DJ Arty, Swedish duo Cazzette and Estonian electro/progressive DJ Syn Cole propelling the packed-out venue in to electro euphoria. But it was clear from the screams and raised iPhone screens who was the main attraction of the night.

The crowd were sent in to a fist-pumping frenzy as Avicii spun out fellow Ushuaïa residents Ingrosso and Axwell's Don't You Worry Child with an acidic twist in the bass. Keeping the atmosphere alive, he played out the smash from another Ushuaïa favourite Armin Van Buuren (you know the one, Without Your Love) and the crowd clambered on to each other's shoulders, swaying and singing “We will never look back at the faded silhouette” from the 2011 tune Silhouettes. It's a refreshing change for a set to be jam-packed with lyric-laced tracks as opposed to the usual rolling bassline and drops as not once did the clubbers give their vocal chords a rest.

Although the party-goers were interacting with the Swedish DJ as they sang along, not a peep was heard out of Avicii himself, which I've come to find is quite rare for an artist of his status. During past events that have hosted dance music royalty, I've noticed a trend in “Are you ready Ibiza?” or “Ibiza, let me hear you” coming from the DJ's mic. However, effortlessly cool Avicii shied away from this sort of atmosphere instigation and, in my opinion, this worked very well as every track in his set was hit after hit after hit. They mixed and interwove in to each other seamlessly; he let his music do the talking for him.

I'd previously seen Avicii at Cream's summer festival Creamfields in 2013 so I knew he was partial to the odd firework display. What I didn't expect was a number of firecrackers exploding all down the side of the Ushuaïa hotel, their scarlet smoke lingering in to the crowd before being carried up in to the air. A man of a few words on the mic maybe, but the Swede had a lot of surprises planned for the ravers… cue a man in an LED suit doing back-flips on a hydro-board over Ushuaïa's famous pool. Yes, that really did happen. Ask the revellers surrounding the water that were splashed and soaked by his skills as they screamed for more.

It was a party with a punch as the EDM prince treated us to his old classics such as My Feelings for You and Seek Bromance which is such a blast from a past that it was released before he'd even donned the name ‘Avicii'. (Yep, I'd forgotten that was one of his gems too!) The famous ‘sample master' also sprinkled quotes in to his electro-based set from 1966 film The Wild Angels and Imogen Heap's Hide and Seek which is better known amongst the Avicii crowd for being featured in Jason Derulo's number one Whatchasay. The trademark guitar strings of his newer work led his show down a more country course, paralleling his recent change in musical direction.

Adding to the unpredictability of the evening, Avicii went all dubstep on us for a while before bringing us back up to the surface with I Could Be The One and White Noise which could be interpreted as a nod to the duo Disclosure who were playing across the road in Space later that night. He rounded up his set with his famous country come electro smash Wake Me Up which, according to new research done by Spotify, has been found to encourage feelings of excitement from its listeners (thanks for that, Spotify). If you ask me, the excitement for Avicii began at 5pm and never dipped throughout the whole evening. Even as we all filtered out, there were whispers of praise for the DJ on everyone's lips.

Avicii at Ushuaïa; I'm Addicted to You. With a fiesta of this gigantic scale and on this Levels, there's not a chance that Sunday evenings will Fade In To Darkness…meaning it's Monday that is now the day you'll be nursing the hangover.

WORDS | Francesca Evans PHOTOGRAPHY | James Chapman

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