Avicii @ TD Bank Garden 6/15/12
Posted by Middy on June 17, 2012
I will start with the good of this review because there is plenty of good and bad that went on with this show. The production was spectacular. It was simply amazing. He put himself in the ranks of Deadmau5, Amon Tobin, Pretty Lights, the Skrillex Mothership and Shpongle. The entire stage was covered in lights shining to every corner of the Arena, leaving no enlarged pupil untouched by streaming beams of colored light. The back display was filled with glittering visuals of various colors and images blending and dancing together in rhythm to the music with incredible visuals such as the first person view of riding a roller coaster. The head was a good addition to the visuals, but its real purpose is when it takes off during Third Party’s remix of “Otherside”. The top part separates from the rest of the head and moves over to the center of the crowd lowering itself there for about 15-20 minutes with tracks such as ‘In My Mind” and a bootleg of “Greyhound” and “Antidote”.
The tracks played by Avicii were the typical euphoric, uplifting sound you would expect from him, with some hard hitting electro sprinkled in for good measure. He went through his discography and featured the 8-9 minute version of “Levels” seen at Ultra, “Sweet Dreams”, “Silhouettes”, and his remix of “Hang With Me” among others, and offered up some other tracks such as Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso and Alesso – Eclipse (Why Am I Doing This), Alesso’s remix of “Save the World” and others, while finishing off with “Kernkraft 400 (Stadium Chant)”. I walked in to his Summerburst ID, which is yet another ID from Avicii that is going to be ripped by millions worldwide. We all know his mixing skills, are average at best, but his ability to produce is among the very best and that is why he has become so popular.
Part of the criticism that is about to come is my fault. I did not arrive in Boston until 9pm, over an hour later than expected due to hellish rush hour traffic in the New York – Connecticut area. I then had to get to my hotel, which was right near TD Garden and then get over to the Garden, which took another 30 minutes. So I did not arrive in the building until 9:30pm. I knew this was a possibility and did think this would be too much of a problem because doors were at 8pm and there were 2 openers so there was no way I would miss any of Avicii’s set…. right? Not the case with this show. Pleasurekraft, the first opener, was used essentially as a greeter, playing a set from 8:00pm – 8:30pm and then Morgan Page, who I really was excited to see, played from 8:30pm – 9:15pm. This meant that by walking in at 9:30, I was already hearing “Fade Into Darkness” echoing throughout the halls of TD Garden. I do not know who’s idea this was to have the sets so early and short and eventually have the show end so early at 11:30, but it was very uncharacteristic for the type concert this was.
The BIGGEST issue here were the TD Garden employees. I have never seen such incompetence at an event in my life. They would tell you to go to one entrance and then you go there and then they would have no idea what you were doing there and then send you back and I could have spent the entire night talking to TD Garden employees trying to figure out what to do. Apparently people with cameras were only allowed inside with their cameras for the first 15 minutes of Avicii’s set and then were brusquely kicked out of the show entirely and many of them were not readmitted because their photo passes did not double as a ticket to the event, even though they had just been inside taking pictures. This is the reason why you will see no pictures from me in this review. Luckily I was given a ticket, otherwise I would have gone to Boston for nothing. The Garden employees were accosting every concert attendee and regarded them with an air of suspicion, with multiple patdowns (I went through two), rudely talking or yelling at people entering the show, and sobriety tests that pass or fail would have no bearing on the ability to enter the concert. There was also a sign of what not to bring in that was so long and extensive I half expected it to say no fun.
One thing that did not help this situation was the that the show was 16+. The crowd seemed to generally know the songs and was really energetic all the way to the end. However, I saw someone using Shazam on their phone, really kid? And this was during “Atom” and Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso and Alesso – Eclipse (Why Am I Doing This), which is more understandable, but Shazam at a show is just not acceptable. So finally I get into the show around 10pm and have a great time until the end of the show at 11:30, but I felt like I missed so much more than I should of because of the poor management and that left a poor taste in my mouth during and after the show.
Overall the production was breathtaking, the music was great and the atmosphere was electric, but the poor event management and very early set times really hampered what could have been an amazing show and held back on something that had so much potential. I don’t want to speculate on why certain things weren’t as smooth as they could have been, but I hope they are better at the rest of the shows and that the rest of the tour can live up to the hype that is has created for itself. Maybe my expectations were too high, but with all the noise and hype surrounding this tour, I felt a bit let down by this show, some of the blame going to me. Avicii on New Years will remain the best memory for me seeing him live.