Ibiza Wakes Up For Avicii

Posted on July 13, 2015

Words: Al Krastev
Images: Tamara Sini.

Avicii opened his Ushuaïa residency with a splash of colour and enchanting big room house beats on Sunday. The dancefloor, possibly never before this full, exploded with positivity, creating a sense of transformation to a different world, where music and love direct us. He may have never been part of no mafia, yet Avicii has become the prime proof that Swedish house can take over the world. Ever since his global breakthrough Levels, his recognizable beat, often accompanied by a rhythmic use of brass instruments, makes each new single more commercially successful than the previous one. With a stellar history like this, it is no wonder Ushuaia is bursting at the seams from fans eager for the long-awaited season opening.

Ushuaia Avicii Opening03
Ushuaia Avicii Opening04

The young Swede is determined to take us to a new world, full of vibrant patterns and pure emotions. The journey starts with the entry into this uncharted territory, as the walkway to the main door is reimagined as a tunnel into a large cut-out of Avicii’s signature profile, exploding with neon colors. Inside, the mastery of Josefin Rosen, Didrick and Arty one after another assures the dancefloor remains packed right from the start. The party evolves into more than DJ sets, when Fedde Le Grand takes the stage and lifts the fans up with upbeat and happy progressive and vocal house such as Set Fire to the Rain, Rather Be and Lose Myself. The fans are so happy, scores are climbing on their friends’ shoulders. The MC hypes it up, saying that the party really starts when the sun goes down, and asks us to make some noise for Fedde. The heat levels are through the roof, if there was one, until four ice cannons cool down the floor and refreshed dance moves take over. It feels like we are all teleported to a new dimension when Take Me To Church is deafened by the massive sing-along from thousands of entranced fans, who raise all arms at the following rendering of Sky Full Of Stars, as if trying to reach them.

Ushuaia Avicii Opening08
Ushuaia Avicii Opening06

Fedde Le Grand’s set closes in very high spirits and the proceeding 10 minutes without music does not remain silent. The buzz of anticipation and the loud welcoming cheers for every plane coming in to land above us maintains all eyes fixed out front. The stage gradually picks it up again with a slow deep bassline and we all take out our smartphones to drown the surroundings in camera flashes. Improbably timed to perfection another plane’s headlights illuminate the crowd in Ushuaia just as Avicii takes the stage with a burst of his latest megahit, Waiting for Love. As the stage is redone with specially-designed inclined screens, the star of the night appears to be standing swimming in a splash of bright colors that swallows the fans, who react in unison, releasing exhalted screams.

Ushuaia Avicii Opening07
Ushuaia Avicii Opening09

The collective sing-along that the next few of his new tracks evokes displays the journeys well in progress with the drum beat aligning itself with our collective heartbeats. We sing “we might as well be lovers on the floor” with so many taking the lyrics as a direct order. For the ones who have no crush to pursue with this song, the next one, Love Me Again, seems to be the gospel with desperately outstretched arms reaching for the sky. It feels like we are spellbound by love for the DJ and one another, as Addicted to You carries on the streak of love. The mood is the same throughout, with the knee-deep pool packed with people splashing around and ecstatic fans clapping and cheering from the crowded terrace. The theme of love expands with remixes of Seek Bromance and Avicii’s own Hey Brother, reflecting the communal joy of the fans on the dancefloor. You don’t deserve an Ushuaia residency until you showcase complete control over the sound and the fans, but with trance choruses and RnB breaks among house bass drops, the magic is indisputable.

Ushuaia Avicii Opening12
Ushuaia Avicii Opening13

Everyone snaps all the photos and videos they can, while swaying and cheering to the sound, trying to capture this other world to hold on to forever. All around is a sea of smiles and good vibes with mini dance-offs by the swimming pool and synced jumps out front. Every confetti or firework explosion, every twist in the beat is greeted by shouts of excitement, which soon become overwhelmed by the dub-infused beats Avicii masters up. The heavier drops appear to be the end of the show, when the sound stops and the DJ thanks us all for the best time he has ever had. The feeling is mutual, we just know this can’t be it. The encore inevitably has everyone taken with Wake Me Up, when the screams and jumps are so heartfelt, no one would stay motionless. Another upbeat remix of Sky Full Of Stars has us screaming for yet more and the second encore of the night picks it up in an RnB direction. When the night winds down with a captivating version of Niggas in Paris, what used to be a gathering of fans is now transformed into a giant family of party animals from out of this world.

Ushuaia Avicii Opening15
Ushuaia Avicii Opening16