EPIC is Eric Prydz in Concert

Prydz Arena 1
      Image via Thorium Photography
     Eric Prydz has always been somewhat of a mystery to Americans, or for that matter, any non-European. While his productions travel to the far reaches of the globe, he does not, thanks to a bad case of aerophobia. Last week’s post’s highlight of his production talents left out those he has as a performer, a muscle he’s been flexing recently. On April 2nd of 2011, Prydz unveiled his new live performance concept named EPIC, or “Eric Prydz in Concert,” to a sold-out crowd at the Brixton Academy in London. The audio-visual showcase included both mobile and static structures, 3D animation, films and holograms, a combination that is pushing the bar for the next generation of  dance music production. Good news for Europeans, irrelevant for everyone else, or so I thought.
Prydz Arena 2
      Image via Thorium Photography
     It had been 4 years since Prydz last conquered his fear of flying, crossed the Atlantic and hallowed French-Canadian soil. Thrilled, jubilant, ecstatic, rapturous, overjoyed, elated, blissful, euphoric and down as fuck (props to my thesaurus) I was when I discovered he was to grace Arena Montreal with his presence on Sunday, July 22nd. While this wasn’t a formal EPIC show—he keeps those stocked for venues like the Brixton Academy—I was simply happy to have him play a regular set. You may think it sad for a handsome 21-year old guy to attend such a spectacle alone. Frankly, I’m the one who pities all those who missed the Swedish house master. My midnight arrival downtown gave me the 30 minutes I needed to judge my surroundings. Arena is a respectable club with a modern setting that unfortunately clashes with the exposed pipe that lines its ceiling. The area reserved for the DJ booth is backed by a large screen while a series of lights and a high output fog machine is set overhead. These elements were a welcome complement from the get-go, as the light changes went perfectly with the darker, techier tracks that Prydz opened his set with. The start of his show seemed to better fit Stereo Nightclub as he pulled out many new tracks from his Cirez D alias. In fact, the Mouseville insignia was shown on screen in between shots of Prydz’s usual split face logo.
prydz split
     Apart from “On Off” and an acapella from Danny Tenaglia’s “Music is the Answer,” I can’t say I recognized any of the tracks. Then he completely changed gears. Progressing masterfully from a tech house ID to his Pryda alias’ “M.S.B.O.Y.,” Prydz’s looped the early, genre ambiguous portion of the track and decided to give it vocals from Florence and the Machine’s “You Got the Love,” loosening a few of my screws in the process. A few more marbles were lost during the meshing of his “2Night” with vocals from Underworld’s “Two Months Off,” but the track that really threw me off my rocker was “Boothaus ID.” That isn’t the actual name of the track—it is currently untitled—but rather what it’s come to be known by after it was first played during Eric’s EPIC show at the Boothaus Nightclub in Germany. It’s been updated since the YouTube clip below, but the lead synth and vocals are intact.

     I was zonked out of my mind for the rest of the night. I’ve never taken any drugs at a live event, one of the reasons being that I don’t think anything can beat such a strong, natural high. And boy, was I up there. I’m pretty sure I found Amelia Earhart gyrating to Prydz’s remix of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus.” I really hope someone gets that reference. What ensued was a proper display of how to use crowd reactions to select what tracks to play, his classic “Pjanoo,” continuous encore screams that extended the set 40 minutes past Arena’s closing time, a mashup of Everything but the Girl’s “Missing” and Pryda’s “Europa” that nearly brought me to tears, a random facial laceration that didn’t keep me from dancing and a presentation of his album that included both singles, along with Eric’s personal favorite, “Leja.” At that point, the night was nearing its end, so the crowd didn’t mind the funky, groovy vibe and noticeably slower tempo of the track. The soiree was capped off by an impromptu autograph session, while everyone turned into a douchebag by wearing the glasses the attendants at Arena had given us at the door.
Prydz facial lacerations
     Eric Prydz is a special DJ. I may be saying this because I’m a huge fan, or because he never comes to Montreal, but it’s true. Throughout my love affair with EDM, I’ve never seen a better progression through a set than I did watching Prydz perform. It’s hard to believe how you can go from a bass-heavy tech house tune and end up with a funky, 119 bpm ballad without playing one or two songs that just seem out of place. Yet somehow he did it. His consideration of harmonic keys when he mixes, something few DJs seem to worry about, helps smooth the transition to the next track without displacing the vibe given by the last and puts him far ahead of others performers. Finally, the passion he has for his fans, while maybe not as overt as others, is extremely powerful and truly embodies the link a DJ is supposed to establish between himself and the crowd on a nightly basis. Do yourself a favor, if Eric Prydz ever comes back to Montreal, don’t miss out. Here’s where I plug our friend Samson over at Montreal-Nightclubs.com without whom, I would not have heard of Eric’s once in a lifetime trip to Montreal.

Eric Prydz Presents: EPIC Radio 002 by Eric Prydz Official

     Ok, so I might have been talking a lot about him during the past 2 weeks, but I promise the subject will be changed for next week’s post. Until then, have a listen to Prydz’s new podcast, EPIC Radio,  and have a great weekend!

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

44 Responses to “EPIC is Eric Prydz in Concert”

  1. Nice review Justin and welcome back! There's too much to say about that night, or we could just go with EPIC! I've been lucky enough to see Eric Prydz 4 times, and that regular club night was the best set I've ever heard from him. That includes all his online ones over the years. Good luck finding a 3+ hour Pryda set.

    Very good, appreciative crowd. I think it's because most of the people in the room had never seen him before, so there has been years of excitement building up. Plus he's got lots and lots of his own hits to play.

    Was fun partying with you, glad you got to see him!

    1. Hey Samson, thanks for the feedback. That was definitely one of the best sets I've ever had the fortune of witnessing, possibly even beating out Gareth's 105. Speaking of online sets, Fred and I were actually in talks with his management team to try and get a recording of his Arena visit. Our request was acknowledged and passed on to their US counterparts, still waiting to hear back from them, fingers crossed. Once again, thanks for the help with the cut on my face. I hope it leaves a scar and an everlasting memory of that night!

    2. That would be such a great thing if he recorded that set! I highly doubt it, but we can hope. Dancing to Pryda with blood on your face and a huge smile, priceless. You're welcome! :)

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