In case you didn’t hear the news today, Avicii will be retiring from live performances after his 2016 shows (or so he says…). One of dance music’s highest-paid artists in 2015, Avicii is walking away from the live scene but will continue producing music. If you know me on a personal level, you’re probably asking yourself “why the fuck does he care?” Actually – if you’re a regular reader of this blog you’re probably saying to yourself “who the fuck cares?”
I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t enjoyed Avicii’s music in years, nor have I had any desire to see him in a live setting. Well, when I say “haven’t enjoyed Avicii’s music in years” – I really mean the new stuff. Like most dance music fans, when “Levels” hit the mainstream I was pretty much done with Avicii. All his music up to that point was actually pretty fantastic. And his live sets were a lot of fun – notably ones I attended at the defunct Identity tour in Massachusetts, and Avicii’s show at Ocean Club in Quincy, MA.
But as my tastes evolved and as Avicii hit the main stream, my hipster side stuck out and hating on Avicii was the cool thing to do. Actually, I can’t say that. I never hopped on the “cool to hate Skrillex” bandwagon, for example, and if artists are consistently producing good music and putting on amazing live shows I have to hand it to them, regardless of my personal preferences. It’s just disappointing that Avicii went from producing masterpieces like “Street Dancer”, “Tweet It”, “Snus”, “Malo”, and “My Feelings For You” (yeah look up those first four) to crossing over into country and very non-dance music. And it’s even more disappointing that as a DJ Avicii never really did much to dazzle the more-educated crowds. It’s no secret that Avicii’s manager Ash Pournouri taught the young Swede how to DJ, but did it on a level that was safe and crowd-friendly. You would never see much technical prowess behind the decks of an Avicii show.
So, dance music isn’t losing Avicii. Dance music lost Avicii years ago. Tim will still be in his studio producing music, though we’re not quite sure what realm the tunes will fall into. And at just 26 years old, I have a very hard time believing Avicii will never “perform” live again – much like I never believed Brett Favre was truly staying retired when he first announced it. The money will be there for Avicii when he chooses to play shows again.
For now we bid adieu to a dude who I once loved and who certainly opened a lot of doors for up-and-coming dance artists around the globe. This is a new chapter for Avicii and I wish to remember it by these three things:
His live set from Energy The Network 2011 (a truly exceptional set)