May 2nd, 2012
It’s no secret that electronic dance music has exploded into the mainstream audience over the past few years. Though DJs like Deadmau5, Calvin Harris, Skrillex and David Guetta have clearly proven their ability to rock a crowd, something needs to be said for the artists who have been incorporating those kinds of sounds into a pop-indie fusion that makes you dance and works just as well, if not better, in a live setting as their DJ peers. Case in point: Miike Snow.
The Swedish-based trio hit up Toronto’s Sound Academy last night in support of their latest record, Happy to You. Despite their late start the boys brought in a jam packed, energy-ridden set of tracks from their two records and showed what it really means to own a synth. Creeping onto the stage in their signature masks, the boys immediately slid into a performance of Happy to You’s opening track, Enter the Joker’s Lair. What began as a quietly ominous evening soon turned into a dance-mosh bonanza, paired with a whole lotta sweat and love from a packed crowd.
What’s interesting about Miike Snow is that the members always get their fair share of the spotlight without having it compromised by one another. One usually finds that the singer takes the lead and lets others fall into the background, but at last nights show Miike Snow’s frontrunner Andrew Wyatt almost seemed to avoid staying in one place for too long. Whether he was pacing up and down the stage or falling back to the keyboard during songs like Black and Blue, God Help This Divorce and Pretender, Wyatt made sure that the crowd saw his Miike Snow counterparts Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg do their thing. The pair produced some of the most booming moments of the night, including a very extended performance of Silvia and even dishing out the beats to Paddling Out hard with theatrical strobes and bass to match their efforts.
Like their new album suggests, it’s very easy to perceive Miike Snow as being happy. Lyrically, however, a lot of their material is quite angst-ridden and melancholic at times, and it’s hard to place yourself between this kind of content and the sounds that Miike Snow produces. You could feel that during their performances of Burial and Bavarian #1 (Say You Will), but maybe there is something bigger to be taken away from these songs. While songs like The Wave and Animal speak of personal disasters and self-deprecation, the music tells you to keep marching. In fact, the closing performance of the latter extended its catchy beat to keep the crowd singing and dancing, and maybe that’s all Miike Snow wants you to do despite lowly and lonely times. It’s all anyone should want to do, anyway.Tweet