- Posted September 16, 2012 by
Santa Monica, California
Avicii Blows Minds At First of Three Santa Monica Civic Auditorium Shows
The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium was filled to its 3,000 person capacity on Friday night, when Swedish DJ/producer Avicii kicked off a three-day concert series that will span the weekend.
Since the venue shares a block with Santa Monica Police Headquarters, police presence outside and inside the premises was considerable and borderline overwhelming.
The line-up of officers standing at the entrance seemed to be enjoying itself, though, laughing and cracking jokes as they stood by while attendees got searched for any suspicious materials. Lip gloss, packages of gum, and bottles of water were all tossed into overflowing bins, airport-style.
Once inside, guests were dismayed at the lack of alcoholic beverages but the stifling strictness of the venue was shortly forgotten as partygoers stepped inside the auditorium and were met with a flood of impressive special effects.
Sitting atop a giant head with hollow eyes and an expressionless face onto which mind-bending, galactic and primitive-inspired graphics and images were projected, the DJ looked almost invisible at first glance. But as lights and lasers flashed to the music, Avicii’s silhouette was seen fist pumping enthusiastically from his high-tech, symbolic stage; he was blowing minds tonight.
Opening with a mash-up of "Fade Into Darkness" and The Who's "Baba O'Reilly," the 23-year-old Swede navigated smoothly from his softer, nearly immortalized classics like “Seek Bromance” to edgier gut-thumping beats like Nari and Milani’s “Atom” and the Swedish House Mafia and Knife Party collaboration “Antidote” without ever getting gritty.
The crowd, composed of sequined girls and tank-topped guys, was definitely having what Avicii was serving. The atmosphere was thick with perspiration and raw energy as puffy tutus and fists went bouncing up and down, going especially wild dancing and singing along to the sounds of “Levels” and “Don’t You Worry Child” by SHM.
Everyone was thrown off, though, when the DJ stopped mixing. Songs were suddenly coming to an end and starting again from silence instead of melting artfully into one another. People began to check their phones and ask each other time. And just like that, at 11:20 p.m., it was over. Hyped up fans, disappointed by Avicii’s early departure, spilled out of the auditorium, debating whether the $70 they paid for admission was worth a set that spanned about 2 hours.
Unfortunately, this has become the norm for EDM events in the Los Angeles area and genre enthusiasts are becoming tired of the ever-growing restrictions that have plagued the city’s nightlife since 2010’s Electric Daisy Carnival, where a 15-year-old girl died after taking ecstasy. No one will deny that the event was tragic but most attendees believe that the city’s regulations have tightened so far as to suffocate electronic music lovers by forcing them off dance floors before midnight. Flashbacks of curfew, anyone?