For those that haven't been following the action from this year's Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Avicii played a different and ballsy set last Friday night by incorporating live vocals, live bands, and even unusual instruments like the kazoo. Avicii used the huge UMF stage to preview his upcoming album, check it out:
Reactions on Twitter were a mixed bag but mostly veered towards the negative side, while a few blogs including Soundisstyle and Electrojams panned the performance. Meanwhile artists such as Nick Thayer and Tiga have made more supportive statements about the young Swede:
Excerpt from Nick Thayer's Tumblr Blog: (VIA @VanCityDanceNrd)
."..This was not a spur of the moment decision. This decision was made knowing full well that he would alienate a substantial portion of the people who were there. Knowing that some of those people will never return to his fold. He made this decision as an artist. To refuse to be bound by what people expect, but to be bound by what he wants to say..."
"...So more power to Avicii. It took balls the size of watermelons to step up on that stage and do something so far outside what people were expecting, knowing full well what the reaction would be. Hats off to you sir."
Avicii doesn't usually get on my radar: but i been waiting patiently for Rednexx revival: so props to the swede.— Tiga (@ciaotiga) March 24, 2013
In response to all of the controversy, Tim Bergling aka Avicii has just released a statement explaining the reasoning behind Friday's UMF show:
"Wow. Looks like I stirred up some controversy with my set friday night at UMF. Seeing alot of people feedback who dont understand. My full set wasn't being streamed, only the last 40ish minutes with all new material from my album.
In a 75 minute set, I brought a 15 minute different breakdown with live musicians to a festival with nonstop dance music for 3 days straight 2 weeks in a row . I really wanted to switch things up and do something fun and different, as I always strive for, and this album is about experimentation and about showing the endless possibilities of house and electronic music. Its about how to incorporate acoustic instruments from different styles and influences you wouldnt expect and still stay true to your own sound and musicality which for me has always been about the melodies and positive energy. I will always produce music that I love and listen to. But my album is certainly not "country", and people have gotten hung up on an instrument we used for the live cover of a song. Every song on the album is a fusion with house and electronic music.
We wanted to make a statement, and theres really no better place to make one than UMF mainstage. People will soon see what it's all about.
My music is open to anyone who wants to listen to it and I will always stay true to my sound. Love you all who listen with open hearts and open minds. These past few months Ive been so lucky to have had the chance to work with so many talented artists and to bring them there when I launch the album was amazing and they all did an amazing job.
This was my first time performing with a band and I couldnt have asked for more a professional team, I really want to thank @MichaelEinziger and his fiancee, @vatoben and @JoseAPasillasII from Incubus, @Aloeblacc, legend @Mac Davis, @audramae and @dantyminskii for joining me on stage."
Instead of belting out another hour of bangers and playing it safe for the UMF crowd, Avicii decided to push the envelope on what you could incorporate into an EDM track and extend the boundaries of what is considered a live DJ performance. Was every track and risk taken successful that night? Certainly not, but overall I was left impressed with the courageousness of Avicii's set and I look forward to hear the studio version of his album. The combination of Avicii's guest mix on Diplo and Friends and this UMF set, made me see Tim Bergling in a whole new light as an artist with a point of view that is not afraid to move the bar forward. Well done.