In 2010 the world cup lit up of all of South Africa.  In 2011 Deadmau5 rocked the CTICC with a mind bending performance.  Maybe coming studying abroad in South Africa during 2012 is just unlucky.  That was until I heard that AVICII was scheduled to play in Cape Town on March 31 in an airplane hanger.

Once again Cape Town would host one of the most popular electronic DJ’s to stand before strobe lights.  Tim Bergling, known by his stage name AVICII, has become an international superstar, spreading the house music fever that has infected youths from around the globe.  His most well known song “Levels” has been blared through speakers a nauseating amount, playing anywhere from local diver bars to the metallic insides of bumping clubs.  Even my own mother stopped to ask me one day, “Have you of this song ‘Levels’?”

Despite AVICII’s transformation into a mainstream artist, I have always been a fan.  Even though his melodies may be slightly predictable, and his audiences full of drunk University students more intent on fist bumping then actually listening to the music, I looked forward to his performance in Cape Town for many weeks.  To make the event even more exciting, I learned that Goldfish and DJ Fresh would be the opening acts.  After seeing Goldfish several times at St. Yves in Camps Bay on Sunday nights, I couldn’t wait to wet my pallet on some more their juicy music.

The night arrived and Goldfish seduced the crowd into flavorful dance moves, combining the shrill sound of a saxophone with the uplifting notes of house music.  Next, South African DJ, DJ Fresh took the stage, immediately heightening the energy of the crowd.  Each song pulled the listener higher and higher, until the beat dropped, drum and bass cascading down on the pulsing crowd.  The contrast of high pitch synths broken up by the heavy weight of the bass made for epic dance floor destroyers.

AVICII entered the hanger with blinding lights and sparks erupting from the stage, the crowd rushing to get closer to the scrawny Swedish man behind the mixers.  The beat dropped and the crowd plunged into a trance, jumping up and down to the rhythm of the beat.  And yet, something felt unoriginal, as if something had been stretched too tightly and it was bound to snap.  All of the elements of the show ran smoothly; explosive lights, crisp sound, thrashing bass, and of course a screen that flashed images of robotic girls dancing promiscuously.  Even so, as I looked around and saw tears streaming down young girls’ faces, the show felt over dramatized.  It wasn’t the slow buildup that defines house music, but a sudden whirlwind of hype and fame.  As ‘Levels’ started whining from the speakers, I drifted further back into the crowd, silently mouthing the repetitive lyrics, “Sometimes I get a good feeling.”

By Duncan Lowe