New York City—This past weekend, Swedish House Mafia kicked off its NYC takeover with a dramatic symbol of its meteoric rise.
On February 28, the city of New York allowed the Grammy-nominated EDM trio—Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso—to light up the historic Empire State Building yellow and blue, the colors of their native Swedish flag. It was all done in honor of their Black Tie Rave charity event at Hammerstein Ballroom, with proceeds benefiting the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, and Save the Children’s initiative. The Swedes played a rather short DJ set at the night’s subsequent Black Tie Rave to kick things off.
After selling out their December, 2011, Madison Square Garden gig in 9 minutes, the Swedes outdid themselves by selling out MSG once again in only 8 minutes and, with demand as hot as it will ever get for the trio, they also sold out three nights at Brooklyn’s new Barclays Center, spanning March 2-4.
DJ Times stopped by the March 3 event to see if the arena tour sets would equal SHM’s mega-club and headlining festival sets, and found that, as expected, they were playing a medley of their own solo and group hits, as well as a few bootlegs of tracks released on their respective labels. All four arena gigs had identical track listings, as the incredible intricacy of the visual productions synced up with the music dictated consistency, and fans came with certain expectations. Look to their Until Now compilation for a taste of what was served up.
As we rode the subway train home from the Barclays Center on Sunday night, we witnessed kids that couldn’t be older than 13 discussing vocal and non-vocal versions of Axwell & Alesso’s “Calling (Lose My Mind),” debating the legitimacy of David Guetta, seeing who could do the best Bassnectar mouth “womps,” and strategizing how to save up for this year’s Ultra Music Festival. How culture has changed and how quickly…
Whether or not you agree with Deadmau5’s recent comments comparing EDM to “Event Driven Marketing”—or if you remain a true believer—these all-ages shows are proof that DJ-driven dance music has finally taken hold in America, and that will prove healthy for the entire community—the mainstream and, ultimately, the underground.
With four more performances remaining on their 27-date “One Last Tour,” the Swedish trio will stop by Los Angeles’ LA State Historic Park for their final Masquerade Motel events, their farewell performances concluding at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival on March 15 and 24, respectively.