Saturday, December 17, 2011

Live Review - Swedish House Mafia @ MSG

It's official - DJ's are the new rockstars. For the first time ever, electronic music headlined and sold-out Madison Square Garden, a feat that has never been accomplished by some of the pioneers of the genre, people like Chemical Brothers, Paul Oakenfold, Tiesto, Daft Punk and others. Yet, thanks to all of those artists, the road was paved for Swedish House Mafia to come in and headline. From Miami to Ibiza to LA to London to New York, Swedish House Mafia have spent their time together playing the hottest clubs and festivals for years but now the time is theirs and seizing a moment like this is not only amazing but also a benchmark in the genre's history.

Swedish House Mafia is a supergroup one can say comprised of three respected producers and DJ's - Axwell, Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso, the trio started working together in 2009 and now, just two years later, thanks in part to their non-stop touring schedule, remixes and popular production they headlined the world's most famous arena. Starting their set just before 11pm, a giant screen in front of their stage was projecting images of the history of the arena and leading up to the moment their beats would reign supreme. With explosions, pyrotechnics and loud sirens - that screen hit the floor to unveil the superstar DJ's hard at work in their massive booth. In a sight that had to be seen and difficult to describe, Swedish House Mafia single-handedly turned Madison Square Garden into "Club MSG," there were moments where you had to remember where you were. With tens of thousands of people waving their arms, fist pumping, dancing around - it was the biggest party to ever hit New York City and somewhat awe inspiring that an entire room of that many people are moving in unison to the same sound. With massive screens and fireworks, Swedish House Mafia upped the ante considering the room they were in with effects that could never work in a club. As the confetti, smoke and streamers being blasted into the crowd, they audience just got wilder. With remixes from Adele, REM, Coldplay and special guests Tinie Tempah and John Martin, this gig will be one for the history books. Swedish House Mafia's two hour set was enough to give fans a taste of their new status, but the boys were not done yet as they would go uptown after their massive night to perform again at Roseland. With electronica acts headlining major festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza and their own festivals like Creamfields, Ultra, Electric Daisy and Electric Zoo and now Madison Square Garden - this is the new rock and roll and we are only seeing the beginning.

Opening was New York DJ and Fools Gold record label owner - A-Trak, was the perfect warm-up for such a hot night. A-Track, decked out in a tuxedo looking like James Bond spun from his booth a great set of remixes from Kanye, Adele, Jay-Z, Daft Punk and enough fan favorites to have the arena move. With his set that looked like a giant letter "A," and enough sub-bass to make your jugular rattle in your throat, A-Trak had a smile from ear to ear as the hometown boy who made it to the big house. By the end of his near hour and a half set, A-Trak took to old-school methods and began scratching on his vinyl decks, a nice touch to a truly epic set.