Avicii’s huge new stage show, for arenas only

Back in March, Swedish superstar Avicii told Billboard: “I’m premiering my first live show at Coachella – which is gonna be amazing.” Over the last two weekends, the DJ did indeed close out the Sahara Tent on Sunday with a flashy new production at centre stage.

Hard-touring photographer Rukes was there to shoot the festival, and he passed over a photo gallery to inthemix of the show in full flight. Fans crammed in under the marquee saw a towering mask open to reveal Avicii perched in the ‘skull’, surrounded by sheer video screens and lights. “I’m inspired by how Deadmau5 brought it when he did his cube set-up,” the Swede told Rolling Stone. “All of that was new and that was super cool.”

The mask set-up will now be packed into a fleet of semi-trailers and taken around North America on a comprehensive ‘all-arena’ tour. It kicks off in Houston, Texas, on Thursday 17 May and you only have to be 16 and over to get involved. “We’ve put a lot of effort and money into it,” Avicii told Rolling Stone. “This is gonna be something no one’s ever done before in EDM – not even close on this scale. And this production really needs those really, really big spaces.”

Avicii and his super-sized production encountered some criticism on Sunday, when other acts booked for the Sahara Tent at Coachella claimed he’d forced a timetable shuffle. As Feed Me put it: “Nice one to Avicii for having everyone in the Sahara tents set times moved so he doesn’t have to compete with Snoop and Dr. Dre’s performance.” The headliner responded with: “I just landed, this is the first I hear of any of this. This wasn’t my decision so I don’t know why you’re attacking me personally.”

As we examined in this in-depth feature back in March, the number of elaborate custom stage shows in dance music is multiplying at a furious rate. How do you think this one looks?