Exhausted, sore and finding it difficult to muster up energy, I was ready for day two. Again, I chose to only briefly visit the Bacardi tent and instead, focus most of my attention on the main stage, where artists like Nicky Romero, Bassnectar and Avicii would be playing.
Arriving at the park, I could see that exhaustion and pain was, like for myself, no match for the 25,000 people who showed up for another round of EDM festivities. The cool breeze was a welcome replacement for the unforgiving heat from the day before and though things started off a bit on the quiet side, AN21 and Max Vangeli took the main podium at 5:00 to get things moving.
Going through a mix of old and new, what really got the crowd bumping was their new single Bombs Over Capital, which I do happen to really like.
It wasn’t long though before Nicky Romero came on stage and though I had just seen him a few months ago, I was all ready to watch the Dutch DJ tear up the stage again.
Romero definitely impressed, especially with tracks like Metropolis and Toulouse, which really got people going. Though he’s still pretty new to the whole scene, I really think he has potential and I’m eager to watch his career unfold.
Following Romero was Bassnectar, who some said stole the show. For me, Bassnectar’s set was a break. Though I don’t dispute his talent, I can’t say I’m a big fan. His “harder” edge just isn’t for me and while I was still able to hear his beats blast throughout the park, I wasn’t directly in the crowd for his set.
Instead, I chose this time to eat, take a washroom break and most of all, get ready for the main event, the man that everyone was really here for.
And then it happend, at 9:00 he appeared. As the opening bars to The Who’s Baba O’Riley mixed with the classic track Fade Into Darkness came on, screams erupted from the crowd. Thousands of people flocked to the stage and just like that, it had begun.
Personally, I was sitting on a hill with a group of friends as we heard the music come on. Knowing what time it was and what it meant, we rushed to the stage along with the rest of the crowd who had been waiting patiently.
It was finally time, Avicii had taken the stage.
Now let me get one thing straight, I’ve seen a lot of concerts in my life, everything from bands to solo acts to DJs. But trust me when I say that nothing, and I do mean nothing, could prepare me for what Avicii had in store for the crowd at VELD.
For two hours straight (plus an encore) the Swedish sensation played what I like to call, the perfect set. Everything about it was just brilliant and when combined with the atmosphere and crowd, it really was a sight to behold. Add in a light show that rivalled what Deadmau5 did and a crowd of thousands of loyal and diehard fans, and you have an absolutely poetic ending to a fantastic weekend.
No one gets a crowd going like Avicii does and to be standing right in the midst of it all, as familiar tunes like All You Need Is Love, Fade Into Darkness, The Veldt (which some say was better than when the mau5 did it), Enough is Enough, ID2, Zombie Nation and more played, it’s truly an experience that is almost, well, perfect. Never before have I been part of such a tremendous atmosphere and crowd like I was here.
The DJ’s set was simply astounding, he blew every other artist at the festival right out of the water, except for perhaps Deadmau5 who was also very, very good. But still, the Swedish DJ was phenomenal and truly astounded me.
As 11:00 drew closer and the setlist winded down, many wondered where Avicii’s biggest hit, Levels, was. We had heard just about every major song that the DJ has produced but still no Levels.
When the clock did finally strike 11, and Avicii left the stage, we were all pretty pleased with what we had just seen but many were left confused, “where was Levels?” I kept hearing through the crowd.
Of course, everyone stuck around for a few minutes but when nothing happened, the majority of people turned around to leave. And just as we were walking up the hill and towards the exit, it happened.
Those unmistakable bars burst through the speakers. Throngs of fans stampeded back to the stage and on came the song everyone was waiting for, Levels.
Hearing Levels on the radio or at a party is one thing, but to hear it at a festival like this, at a venue like this, with a crowd/atmosphere like this and from the man himself, once again, that’s a feeling that’s hard to describe. It was incredible, to say the least.
Hands down, Avicii showed why he is the undisputed king of the genre. The audience embraced him on a level that I had never before seen at any type of concert and being in the crowd on Sunday night is an experience that I will never forget.
Overall, the VELD Music Festival was an absolutely incredible experience. Though nothing has been confirmed, I can’t see why the festival wouldn’t be put on again next year. From what I can tell it was a massive success and after speaking to quite a few people about it, it seems that everyone’s sentiments are the same.
The VELD Music Festival was a fantastic weekend, full of great music, atmosphere, crowds and performers. It was everything I wanted it to be and more.
VELD Music Festival 2013, here I come!