See New Footage From Avicii’s Historic Ultra 2013 Performance – Billboard
Wednesday (March 22) marks the 10th anniversary of one of EDM’s iconic moments: the performance at the Ultra Music Festival, where Avicii was booed during the debut of his then-new single “Wake Me Up”.
2013 was a tumultuous time for dance music in the US, marking the height of the EDM explosion, influx of money and fans into the scene, and Avicii becoming its biggest star – a position he earned with a long list of genre-defining hits, including his breakthrough track 2011 Levels.
But on March 22, 2013, things went awry for Avicii, if only for a moment.
It was on this day that the artist born Tim Bergling used his main stage at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival to debut a new track. A group of musicians gathered on stage and began to play a bluegrass song that bore little resemblance to the maximalist EDM that the assembled crowd was expecting.
Instead, they got a banjo, two guitars and vocalist Aloe Black singing about how to carry the weight of the world. According to those who were in the crowd that evening, the play “didn’t work.”
“When we played Ultra, it was just awkward,” Black said. Rotate in 2019. “I don’t think even the sound experts knew what they were doing. Everyone else at the festival had air cannons and pyrotechnics, and half-naked girls danced on stage. Here’s Tim with drums, banjo, violin, guitar and three singers.”
But even though the audience didn’t really get it, the world soon got it. This new track “Wake Me Up” soon became the most successful in the Avicii catalogue. It was the Swedish producer’s only top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 4 in October 2013. He spent 26 weeks at No. 1 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs in 2013–2014 and spent 10 weeks at No. 1 dance. /Mix show on the air. It has been streamed over 2.97 billion times worldwide over the past decade, according to Luminate.
But this Ultra 2013 performance, which also included a similarly cold reception for Avicii’s other new country-leaning track “Hey Brother,” contained far more than his most famous moment. Nearly 10 minutes of new footage released by the Avicii Estate on Wednesday features versions of the show’s “Addicted to You” and “Dear Boy”, which (like “Wake Me Up” and “Hey Brother”) are also taken from Avicii’s 2013 album. True. This LP was released six months after the 2013 Ultra show.
In this shot of Addicted to You, guest vocalist Audra May, Judy Garland’s great-great-niece, takes the stage. The song is followed by “Dear Boy”, in which the late producer, who will die five years after this show, sits off deck in his signature baseball cap backwards as lights flash in front of him and the crowd goes wild. they ended up doing it for “Wake Me Up”. Watch the performance below.