Review of Swedish House Mafia at Madison Square Garden

By Ravi in DJ's
Thursday, January 12, 2012, 3:47pm. (Updated: 10/24/13 at 9:00pm) Add comments

“Madison Square Garden turned into a nightclub.”
Steve Angello

Review by GlowU Rep Peter Cuppernull
Swedish House Mafia Madison Square GardenEverything seemed a little strange around Madison Square Garden on December 15th. People walking by looked curiously at the kids dressed in neon, ticket scalpers did not know what “this Swedish house thing” was, curious pictures of three spray-painted dots were posted everywhere.

Even the MSG employees self-consciously bobbed their heads to the tunes of openings acts Jacques Lu Cont and A-Trak. Sure, we might not have looked like a typical New York Knicks crowd, but you can’t really blame these people for not knowing who Steve, Sebastian, and Axel are.

Fans of dance music say the scene is on the rise (as it certainly is); That heads are turning in the direction of EDM.

But when people outside the Garden heard the roars from inside and saw 20,000 wild attendees running in the streets after the show; When groups of people started singing about “saving the world,” I saw heads turn and for the first time, they saw electronic dance music.

As nice as it is seeing our culture grow, I have pity on these people outside for one reason only: they didn’t have the privilege of being there.

Swedish House Mafia Madison Square GardenThe anticipation was torture. After A-Trak’s set, where he spun crowd favorites like ‘Big Bad Wolf’, ‘Barbara Streisand’, and Avicii’s ‘Levels’, the Garden sat in waiting for nearly 30 minutes.

After what seemed like an eternity, the lights went out, the huge curtain in front of the stage dropped, and Madison Square Garden erupted. Behind the three superstar DJ’s was a massive LED board, smoke shot out from beneath the stage and consumed the crowd, and countless other lights and lasers flashed to the beat.

In the words of Steve Angello, “Madison Square Garden turned into a nightclub.”

When you thought the show could not get any better, Tinie Tempah jumped on stage and sang ‘Miami 2 Ibiza.’ When you were in awe of the massive light and LED display, flames shot up in front of the stage and fireworks shot up into the ceiling of the Garden.

When John Martin stood on top of the DJ booth and sang ‘Save The World,’ I saw a tear in some people’s eyes. The tears weren’t from the music nor the awe of the incredible production. Those tears and emotions came from realizing there was no place in the world anyone in that building would rather have been.

The moment was perfect.

I won’t bore you with a tracklist and I won’t reminisce upon the highlights of the set, just Youtube ‘SHM MSG’ and you’ll get a glimpse of everything you want to see from the show. But what I will finish with is telling you what I learned from seeing Swedish House Mafia.

Electronic Dance Music will become the mainstream in the United States. It is only a matter of time until Steve Angello, Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso are as commonly known as Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga. You can turn on 99.5 in DC on a Friday night and hear the tunes of Sidney Samson or R3hab. Two years ago that would have been impossible.

Is this turn towards the mainstream a good thing? That’s for you do decide.

SHM MSGThe Swedish House Mafia headlining Madison Square Garden was instrumental for the music and the culture we love. More and more people are listening everyday, and people are appreciating EDM for more than just “techno music.”

EDM influences are pouring into all genres of music, and it is only a matter of time when we will hear our favorite electronic artists on the radio, just as they are heard on radio stations overseas today.
We came. We loved. We raved. How perfect is this slogan of Swedish House Mafia’s? If you were there, I am sure you can reciprocate the emotions I am attempting to write about; if you were not there, I hope the Mafia comes back soon so you have the opportunity to experience what I did. And sure, the people passing by the Garden, the ticket scalpers, and the employees working there might not know who Steve, Sebastian, and Axel are today, but in due time, they certainly will.

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