Swedish House Mafia, Alexandra Palace, London
Friday 10 June 2011
Light and lasers fill the expanse of Alexandra Palace, beams of blue and green pouring over the crowd like the northern lights after too much Red Bull. At midnight, three Swedish DJs explode on to the platform. The set is a mountain, flashing colours. Steve Angello, Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso look down upon their minions, who are gasping for a beat.
Having been catapulted to the top of the dance charts after signing with EMI in 2010, Swedish House Mafia have pumped out addictive hits that attract the mainstream as well as dance music junkies. They open with the cult hit "Miami 2 Ibiza". The dirty baseline engulfs the venue, building up and crashing into the crowd with wave after wave of powerful sound. The addictive "One (Your Name)", which has made SHM a playlist necessity, has sweaty fans chanting the lyrics over and over while the lighting gave the impression that a bomb has exploded. Their latest track, "Save the World", is a massive hit with a smile-inducing riff, the type of track that pulls both hands in the air. The crowd yell with delight.
Having worked with the likes of Eric Prydz, Angello and Ingrosso and the producer Axwell have created a truly exciting sound. With numerous artists lending their vocal talents, SHM's album, Until One, includes tracks with Pharrell Williams and Tinie Tempah and pulls in creative remixes using the classic sounds of Coldplay's "Clocks" and Daft Punk.
Tonight, this large space has an almost outside feel (high ceilings keep sweat levels down), but the intensity is sometimes lost as at times the music is not loud enough – even taking into account the countless damaged eardrums in the venue.
And at 2am, they are gone. Two in the morning? This is Swedish House Mafia, there are hundreds upon hundreds of people in sunglasses and neon paint – three DJs and only two hours? There is a distinct ripple of disappointment towards the teasing trio, and although the night is carried on by a supporting act, revellers are left wanting more.
It will be extremely exciting to see what the boys have to offer this summer in Ibiza, but Until One and finishing at two? They're going to need to stay up a bit later to truly satisfy their crowds.
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