Swedish House Mafia live
- By Adam Holden -
- Jul 19, 2012
The Swedish House Mafia simply destroyed the Milton Keynes National Bowl and left the venue with the crowd wanting more.
Having recently announced their retirement only weeks ago, this was going to be their last ever UK performance, and surely there is no better way to accomplish this feat than having 60,000 diehard fans raving in the bowl – sadly though, the ‘English summer’ was still in full affect.
Being given the honour of being the first ever electronic musicians to host and headline the venue, the trio had set up a day of electronic brilliance as they said their final goodbyes to their followers.
Although little to no rain fell on the day, the bowl’s natural structure meant certain parts of the venue had succumbed to the inevitable mud bath, encouraging some revellers who were making the most of the conditions and party atmosphere by sliding down the hills face first.
With the likes of Eminem, Queen, Michael Jackson, Oasis and AC/DC all headlining the bowl over the years, there was something quite different to this gig, a party like perception that has probably never been seen before here in Milton Keynes.
From headlining Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend nearly a month ago, the SHM then topped the bill at a festival in Ireland last week where despite receiving plaudits for their efforts, the news headlines read that there were nine separate stabbings and one drug overdose – so obviously security was tightened for the bowl, but sadly again, more stabbings were reported over the news.
But where there are a few bad apples amongst the 60,000 strong crowds, the rest seemed highly excited and joyous in what they knew would be a momentous occasion.
No_ID opened the gigantic main stage, before the only alternative musical option for the day, Example, performed with a live band. After being sent his request to play at the gig from the super group via Twitter and Facebook, the rapper more than delivered to an impressive amount of fans that had turned up early to see him.
Madeon was up next, a rising start in the electronic scene at just 18, he has already played in some of the best venues around the world and surely this performance in front of nearly 60,000 will be one he will never forget. His best track Icarus went down a treat too.
If three super Swedes weren’t enough for the bill, Swedish born Alesso came on next before handing over the headphones to Scotland’s Calvin Harris. After a recent DJ set at T in the Park, Harris was on form, knocking back chart hits for fun, enticing the crowd into organised chaos as the cannons of confetti rained down upon the fans.
The Radio 1 legend that is Pete Tong was up next, given the honour of warming the crowd before the trio were due on stage. With scares that he might not make the set, the SHM twitter account was tweeting the DJ all day, as he was stranded on a runway in Ibiza. However, in true Pete Tong fashion, he warmed the crowd just perfectly with the occasional cheerleading to hype the aficionados.
And then dawned the moment every person had arrived for. The stage disappeared into blackness and the tension that sieved through the crowd was palpable. Bodies began to horripilate with anticipation before the curtain was dropped to a massively scaled up stage that the Swedes appeared on.
Beginning their two hour plus set with ‘Greyhound’, the super group moved into full flow, knocking back hits and amalgamating contemporary and non-contemporary tunes – a feat they are renowned for.
With incredible visuals of lighting, lasers, CO2 canisters and fireworks, the trio, comprised of Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello smashed through their two hours as fans put their hands in the air and partied in a way the bowl had surely never seen before.
Mixes of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Gotye, Daft Punk and Coldplay were just some of the tunes been cooked up on stage, before finishing with ‘One’ and ‘Save the World’.
The guys left the stage with the crowd begging for more and it will probably be a long time before the bowl ever witnesses anything like this again.
By Adam Holden.
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