Leaving the world behind with Swedish House Mafia
The way to enjoy electronic dance music (EDM) is to be like a child again—innocent, open to all sorts of stimuli, receptive to the pleasure principle.
EDM is disco overhauled and updated—techno, house, trance and all other subgenres combined—to keep the restless youth energized and dancing till sunrise.
More than 8,000 people came to watch the Swedish House Mafia (SHM) concert last Wednesday at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena. Many in the audience were teens, quite simply music lovers wanting to have a good time with their buddies—although those of legal age were more than happy to consume vodka and beer being sold in the venue.
SHM took the stage at 11 p.m., after a couple of warm-up acts. Steve Angello was conspicuously missing from the trio of DJs that included Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso. This was
confirmed after a while, when Axwell took the mic and said, “Steve is terribly sick in the hotel.”
The mighty roar that followed was like a primal scream from a tribal kingdom whose inhabitants were intent on celebrating.
The show was actually a visual and sonic feast—a nonstop display of stunning digital graphics (for instance, images exploding like debris out of the screen) and videos that enhanced the music’s keyboards-driven grooves.
Every so often, the spectacle escalated with a roll of programmed percussion and reached a climax with exploding fireworks.
The songs that SHM played, which the members produced themselves, were crafted as a means to escape from humdrum—or harsh—reality. When the vocals on “Leave the World Behind” were heard, it felt like we were being given a shot of elixir: “I’ve got the answer to all your problems … ”
For a couple of hours, the MOA Arena was one throbbing, noisy paradise.