If there was a Defining Song of the Dance Tent at Coachella 2012, it might have been when Rihanna popped by Calvin Harris’ set for “We Found Love.” Or maybe the repeat plays of Kanye and Jay-Z’s “… In Paris” that showed up in several different sets. Or maybe Nero’s “Promises”? Or perhaps Swedish House Mafia’s “Save the World”?
Ah, who are we kidding? You know the answer. It’s the song that goes like this: “Oh oh, sometimes, I get a good feeling.”
It is Avicii’s “Le7els,” and for the young raver crowd that posted up in the Sahara Tent all weekend, it’s so dance-floor-devastating it probably requires U.N. inspection. The song, built on soda-pop synths and an Etta James sample, completely embodies the year in big-tent dance music. And it took the artist born Tim Bergling into the international stratosphere of electronica artists.
“It’s great to play, the reaction really makes the place explode,” the 22-year-old Swedish DJ said. But he added, with the sly undertones of Mick Jagger asked to sing "Start Me Up" for the millionth time, “I’m obviously still tolerant of it.”
Though Sunday night’s conversation was dominated by the Tupac Victorian Parlour Trick, the night also represented an interesting turn in Coachella’s dance reputation. Avicii is part of the first generation of EDM artists who grew up in their careers viewing Coachella as a major international destination. That’s why Bergling chose it as the place to debut a good chunk of the visuals (including an incredible graphic-morphing DJ platform) and mixes for his forthcoming arena tour.