Last week, GQ posted their feature on Avicii, which found them following him during a string of shows around New Years Eve. It revealed a lot of Avicii‘s rise, from how he got his name (literally, he had to add an extra “i” because someone already had “Avici” on MySpace) to how he feels about the lyrics in his songs (spoiler alert: he says they’re stupid).
The article kicked off with Avicii being upsets about the number of tracks the opening DJ was playing that Avicii also plays. While we’ve heard of many DJs complaining about the selection of some openers, it seems as though the following passage got A-Trak‘s dander up:
Before Pournouri could make him the biggest DJ in all the land, however, he had to teach him how to DJ, which was something Tim had never actually done before. Thanks to computers, these days, DJing is mostly “before work,” Tim explains. Most of the set list and transitions are worked out before he gets onstage. The notion of a DJ who determines what to play by reading the room “feels like something a lot of older DJs are saying to kind of desperately cling on staying relevant.”
And while we definitely understand the DJs who pre-plan their sets, the way this was presented, its almost as of the ability to cater your sets to the crowd is a thing of the past – like everyone’s just a muppet out there waiting for drops (which in some spaces, they might be). As you can see from his tweets up above, A-Trak definitely does not agree, and while Avicii says that his comment was “taken out of context,” he did not go on to explain what context he meant it in.
What are your thoughts? Is it OK to drop a totally pre-determined set night in, night out? Should your setlist be comprised of the same tracks all of the time? Where does crowd satisfaction stop and being creative with your sets start?