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Story and photos by Andy ArgyrakisIn the red hot right here and now, there's no refuting EDM is ruling the world and Swedish DJ/producer/remixer Avicii is currently controlling the axis on which it rotates. Not only did the 24-year old phenom move over four million copies and earn 83 million YouTube views for his breakout hit "Levels," but "Wake Me Up" sold more than double that amount while hitting #1 in an astounding 81 countries!
For a guy with just one original long player to his name, it's sure been a rocket ride from the clubs to places like the Allstate Arena during the Chicagoland stop of his #TRUETOUR, which found the general admission ground floor and seat-ignoring sides grooving to the relative newcomer's insanely contagious beats. Recent single "Hey Brother" was the perfect way to launch the party, serving as a simultaneous invitation to check all cares at the door and mark the debut display of Avicii's mammoth wall of synchronized video screens.
Throughout the next two hours, his soulful sugar rush bounced between almost the entire "True" album, which even without the live support of the original studio vocalists (who span as wide as current Queen front man Adam Lambert, Alison Krauss and Union Station's Dan Tyminski or neo-soul singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc), found the famous DJ attracting just as much attention as he fist-pumped all the way to the bank. Outside of exclusively original material, Avicii's talents in the remix ranks were also apparent with his personal spin on today's chart topping artists (Rihanna, Swedish House Mafia, Ellie Goulding) though timeless treasures like Smokey Robinson or The Pointer Sisters.
Additional affinity for the old school came on the aforementioned "Levels," which besides bursting with its own progressive house grooves, also cleverly infused Etta James' mighty "Something's Got A Hold On Me" into its rapid repertoire. It was only natural to find the rising star bookending the full-throttled evening with the pyro and confetti-adorned "Wake Me Up," the equally eclectic folktronica favorite that perhaps best embodied Avicii's ability to blend the infectious with the unexpected.
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