I’d say it was a pretty big weekend for electric dance music, if you’re an avid fan and are reading this, I’m quite sure you’ll know what I’m getting at. An immense amount of people attended Swedish House Mafia’s Masquerade Motel show this past Friday and Saturday night at LA Historic Park, and if there was a single person that wasn’t aware, they were certainly made aware by pretty much every social media platform out there. So frequent were the shows brought up that those who are not fans of EDM felt the sweet retribution of all of us who are via constant status updates and reminders. So lets get to the good stuff already:
Friday night, my best friend and I made ourselves up and headed down to LA Historic Park to join the party. As we waited in the traffic near College Drive, we blasted "Bugatti" by Ace Hood, you know, because we were feeling pretty gangster about going to this show. We parked and paid a shocking 10 dollars, one of the least expensive parking payments I’ve ever experienced at a show, and made our merry way down to the venue. Now at last minute we’d decided to keep our black leather jackets on because it was cold; what a glorious decision that was. Just as we got passed all the security check points at about 6:30, a little drizzle started coming down, which was fine, we’d expected that anyway. Where it really got fun was when we were waiting in the line to get our I.D.’s checked; all of a sudden, the drizzle pulled a Transformers on our excited selves and started pouring. Now my jacket had a hood, but my long-haired best friend’s did not, so I pushed the hood off and messed up my hair right along with her. We were soaked in minutes, and the girls in front of us wearing tank tops and shorts were soaked in seconds.
We got our wristbands right as the rain suddenly got even worse and one of the guys under the tent said “Damn, this is bullsh*t,” which I thought was funny, given the fact that he was currently standing under the tent in a jacket and pants while we were the ones outside of it witnessing mother nature in all her wet glory. After we got our wristbands we carefully made our ways through the mud, extra careful after we saw several people completely eat it right in front of us. We had carefully picked out our outfits: my friend in hot pink tights and boots and me in electric blue and boots. Mud wasn’t in the wardrobe itinerary. So, we picked out way over to the large pink overhang, otherwise known as the dry-stop before entering the venue. The words “Masquerade Motel” were written above it next to the glowing white orb everyone always confuses as the moon. We got in there, shaking our hair off and searching for the person selling the ponchos, only, there wasn’t anyone selling ponchos. And so, cold and wet, we made a beeline for the ballroom where it would be warm and we’d get a chance to dry off and wait out the rain.
There were girls clad in bikinis and full-on raver gear that were holding hands and walking through the rain as if their butt-cheeks weren’t in fact starting an icicle farm. Good for them, they were warriors in my eyes, because my friend and I were just not that brave. So, being the downtrodden little girls that we looked, we pushed through the crowd into the ballroom, squeezed the extra water out of our hair and threw our hands up like the champs we were in our minds. Sub Focus was currently on set, and was quite truly nailing it. So, we danced; everyone danced. There were many people clad in intricate Phantom of the Opera-esque masks, some had the black lace situations they handed out for free after the check points, and some had full-on capes. Everyone definitely had the spirit, and it was contagious, charged by the rain in some nice way. We danced until we were dry from head to toe, and then we danced some more, obviously. At some point, Sub Focus told all present in the Ballroom to dance down to the floor and then stay there, and everyone did. It was reminiscent of summer camp games, except made better by the fact that we were all at a show and the games had only just begun.
After Sub Focus finished off his set, Nero took the stage, pretty much sending everyone under the tent into a different vortex…honestly, every time Nero is present I feel like I’m dropped into a scene from Star Trek or some insanely intricate space game. It’s amazing. Halfway through Nero’s set, we took off to grab a drink now that the rain had dissipated, taking a moment to survey the crowd from the drinking garden and making some friends from out of town, one especially who had never been to a show like this before. He told us he’d never witnessed things so crazy, we told him to just wait until 10 o’clock. By the time we made our way over to the main stage, Swedish House Mafia was in the middle of taking their 20 billion pixel photo of the crowd, which by the way if you haven’t done already and were present, go tag yourselves here. Anyway, we somehow made it to the very back of the crowd in front of the control tent, which is just my name for it; I have no idea what it was for actually, but point is, we were in front of it. About fifteen minutes later, everyone in the entire park was there, waiting both patiently and impatiently for the guests of honor.
A huge white curtain came to life after an animated image signifying the beginning of the show, and then just like that, it dropped and the party began. Amidst the large, lit up words “We Come, We Rave, We Love” Swedish House Mafia officially appeared, and after a few more moments of cheering, they dropped into “Greyhound,” white smoke pushed up and out from the stage and everyone lost it. That was when it was real, at least in my head; we were here, witnessing Swedish House Mafia on the last leg of their West Coast tour and we were lucky. Those are the thoughts that guided my hands into the air and had my best friend and I linking arms at particularly every spectacular moment.
Los Angeles! My name is Axwell, this is Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello. We are the Swedish House Mafia, are you guys ready?!
Oh yes, we were all quite ready. Right after he said that, they jumped into the breakdown of "Greyhound" and slammed it down from there. It was, in my opinion, a great start to an even better performance. Now if you read the quick piece I put up about the LISNR app the Swedish House Mafia asked everyone to download and turn on before the show, then you knew what to do when the announcement was made to hold your phones in the air to unlock the surprise they’d hidden in there for the right moment. I had my friend hold up my phone while I recorded both what was going on onstage and what the surprise was on the LISNR app. It was kind of neat, and yes I said neat; it sort of took me back into childhood when you’d find a secret pocket in a shirt or a secret compartment in the remote-controlled car you had. It was just a little bit of fun to sprinkle on top of an already excellent night, and I appreciated it.
Halfway through their set, they played Pendulum’s “The Island” parts 1 and 2 you could say, pairing with it some really just top-notch graphics; I honestly felt like I was in the virtual ride Back to the Future dodging T-Rexes and busting through trees. In short, it was really something. Then of course came the testament to America when Swedish House Mafia projected the American flag on their multiple screens, whilst also standing on stage waving their own American flags. And just to top it all off for fun, red, white and blue fireworks shot into the air to bring the entire display home. It was one of the most epic displays of American patriotism I have ever seen, and it was done by two Swedes and a Grecian. I’ll Hallelujah to that.
Swedish House Mafia ended the night beautifully, thanking LA and everyone who came out; Axwell actually singled out all of the girl's who'd come dressed in bikini tops and summer clothing, thanking them for their dedication. People stood riveted as Swedish House Mafia left the stage, and words formed on the stage, thanking everyone who had come out that night and everyone who had been there for their career. And through it all, the acoustic version of "Don't You Worry Child" played. I don't think one single person who'd witnessed that set left unhappy that night, and if they did, it was only because they were already missing the two Swedes and one Grecian known as Swedish House Mafia. Peep some footage of the LISNR app during the show below, share your moments if you were at one or both of the shows this weekend and as always, carry on...