Tue 17 Jul 2012

Review… Swedish House Mafia at Milton Keynes Bowl



If the anticipation of the mighty Swedish House Mafia hadn’t been enough to cause a buzz in the air, the announcement that it would be one of the last times the trip would appear onstage together has only heightened the atmosphere further.


Keeping the buzz alive for the streams of incoming fans were Dutch duo No_ID laying down a selection of main room grooves with a fresh tech vibe. The crowd were ready to party from the off and No_ID provided a fitting sound track to kick off the festivities.


Example took the reigns for an early slot with full live backing band bringing more of a festival feel to the all-day rave-a-thon. Example takes full control of the audience from start to finish. Previous singles from his first album go down especially well such as sing-a-long anthem “Kick Starts” and “Last Ones Standing”. A triumphant performance from Example who seemed unfazed by one of the largest crowds he has ever played to.


18 year old producer, Madeon rocked the mammoth crowd with the confidence and finesse of his older affiliates on the same bill. The outstanding moment of his set was undoubtedly when he dropped his biggest tuneto date, Icarus which sent the bowl bouncing from left to right. Madeon played confidently looking right at home in the midst of huge production and an even bigger line-up which he didn’t allow to overwhelm his set. It’s likely the stages will only be getting larger for the young super-producer as his career progresses. You can catch Madeon destroying a smaller stage as he joins Annie Mac for her Annie Mac Presents residency at London KOKO on 11thAugust. Alongside him on the bill are Rinse FM’s Monki, songstress and production duo AlunaGeorge and UK producer Karma Kid as well as the lady herself Annie Mac.
Madeon wasn’t the only young superstar making his presence felt at the bowl as 21 year-old EDM sensation Alesso stepped up to the podium. The young swede has collaborated with the headliners before and has even had the honour of them remixing one of his own original productions. His set is wall to wall main room intensity building the anticipation even further. Alesso sends the crowd into a frenzy dropping back-to-back bangers from the much touted EDM catalogue of hits with his many of his own original productions also featured. As Alesso leaves the stage the excitement in the air is palpable and with three massive acts still to come, the party atmosphere has really set in across the bowl.


Next up to please the throngs of fans is Scotsman, Calvin Harris whose career has recently sky-rocketed following his production duties for Rihanna on International hit We Found Love. Tracks like “Bounce”, “Feel So Close” and his new collaboration with Ne-Yo, “Let’s Go”. Calvin is no stranger to crowds of this size now and he seemed quietly confident as he oversaw the madness from the booth. With the extensive production setting and the cheering crowds, you could almost be fooled that the 60,000 strong crowd are there for Calvin alone. So many of his own productions are now widely considered certified dancefloor smashers making it easy for him to get the crowd jumping making the atmosphere nothing short of electric.


If there has to be one legend singled out of the impressive line-up, the accolade undoubtedly goes to Pete Tong. Tong is almost seen as the father of dance music with his legendary Essential Mix series showcasing the freshest talent from all spectrums of dance for over two decades. Tong himself is renowned as one of the best DJs around having earned his stripes from the early days of rave alongside his legendary counterparts Sasha, James Zabiela and John Digweed.


Finally, the moment has arrived as SHM take to the stage like King’s surveying the crowd from their elevated booth. It’s not that easy to get a glimpse of the trio themselves, especially from the front but given the stunning light show it’s clear they’d rather the crowd got lost in the music rather than the guys themselves.
Greyhound” pulses through every corner of the bowl with the lightshow sending the crowd frenetically moving as far as the eye can see.
The atmosphere is really hitting its peak through the set with hands in the air house and main room anthems teeming relentlessly from the speakers. Much of the mafia’s own tunes are peppered throughout the performance but they are quick to pay homage to their fellow artists dropping tracks from chart-toppers with a Swedish House Mafia touch. Despite this being one of the trio’s final performances together there’s no hint of sadness about the impending end with each of them bouncing around behind the decks effortlessly dishing out dance floor destroying tunes.


Fireworks and confetti cannons bring what has been a truly epic show to a dramatic end with the trio beaming alongside each other with their last show being one of their very best.