Julian Cassady

Eric Prydz Gets Caught Up In The Flash

Searching for a center to the EDM star's sprawling digital world

The title of Eric Prydz's Opus was the first hint that this is not a concise project. At two hours long, the globally known progressive house musician's first studio album under his own name has room for harder techno (“Trubble”), euphoric progressive house (“Sunset at Café Mambo”), and even a few cheesy, noodly 1980s larks (“Collider,” “Moody Mondays”). A month after the album's release, there's still plenty to digest — and it was all displayed on the 15-plus-year dance vet's Epic 4.0 tour, which he kicked off by selling out three nights at New York's Terminal 5 last month.

On a visual level, the second night of that run was preposterously entertaining. Prydz performed from a stage-filling DJ cage bathed in blood-red lights that reacted to the patterns of his music; the sheer extravagance of the spectacle made a trip to the 3,000-capacity West Manhattan club worthwhile even in nearly zero-degree weather. But the music didn't always live up to that standard. Prydz spent much of the show's first half leaning on his Cirez D alias, drawing on a generally harder techno style that began to plod after an hour or so. While most of the crowd danced with little drop in energy during this set, anyone who prefers Prydz's more recent progressive house tracks had to wait.

Wading through Prydz's lengthy catalogue can be disorienting for new fans. A decade after his surprise international hit “Call On Me,” an electro-tinged house track, he's carved out a lane that flirts with the mainstream (he's remixed Calvin Harris and Depeche Mode) but still has niche appeal (last year, critically acclaimed British producer Four Tet remixed Prydz's single "Opus"). Although Opus hit shuffle on Prydz's stylistic range, he opted for far more precise sequencing at Terminal 5 — a reasonable choice for a live show, but one that risked leaving fans hoping for a splash of chaos. The second half of Prydz's Terminal 5 set leaned heavily on uplifting tracks including “Everyday,” “PJanoo (Eric’s Private Edit),” and "Opus," a shift whose continuous build took an already excited crowd and sent it into pure euphoria. For fans of that side of Prydz's catalogue, it was an embarrassment of riches. For everyone else, the light show did more than enough to hold their attention.