Miike Snow @ The Palladium – 10/30/2012
Miike Snow is the quintessential feel-good sound of the electronic music era, with the creative force of their influence spanning across the boundary of genre. The core of Miike Snow includes pop production duo Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, also known as Bloodyshy & Avant, with the seasoned Andrew Wyatt delivering on vocals. Maybe you are unaware that you have felt the touch of their reach, but they have been a guiding hand in pop music for the last ten years. With the Palladium as a setting for the unfolding, a live performance of the Happy to You album is like being engulfed into a narrative told by virtuoso storytellers.
When you walk into the Palladium, you can feel people around you on all sides and even your insides. One of the best elements of the venue is that, if you stand on the tips of your toes from the ground level and snap a photo of the crowd from any angle, you are guaranteed a shot of a sea of faces, arms and necks swaying and bending to the will of the beat. In a space like that, you are thoroughly surrounded by the music, permeated by the purposeful silences in between tactful taps on the xylophone keys and the tantalizing brush of bodies across bodies.
This is the essence of Miike Snow, the accessibility of their tales, crafted in beat and rhythm, finding a home in the hearts of the assorted crowd in the room tonight. The rhythmic rendering of the live drum set fortified the climatic peak cherished by fans of live music everywhere. It is a complete experience. The last performance of the tour is always a moment of catharsis for the band, but I could feel that even from within the crowd; that I am a part of this major moment and my main role was dance. And dance I did, from the moment I walked into the opening set of Niki and the Dove until the last keyboard stroke of an epic rendition of “Animal” to close out the show.
The bass creates waves beneath your feet, as the Palladium’s wooden floors act as a conduit of electronic bursts from the speakers and countless stomping feet. Wyatt’s notorious cross stage pacing was dizzying, so it was definitely Winnberg’s devastating good looks that kept my eyes on the stage most times. When getting a glimpse was tricky, I appreciated the unique stage backdrop: a hexagonal scene featuring the band’s hands, turning the knobs and the levers of various sound machines. It is an opportunity to see the hands themselves at work, because so often the craftwork of the electronic genre is hidden from full view; often the processes behind the music we love are hidden from our view.
As a live act, Miike Snow is proof positive that spectacle is not the fundamental feature of the live musical performance, where the scene before you takes hold and the music becomes almost secondary. Who doesn’t love it when the secrets of the magician are revealed? More often than not, the spell over the crowd isn’t broken, but rather an appreciation of the passion for their work sets in, and you may have discovered this, or yet another layer, for the very first time. It’s clear from their performance how much they enjoy the music themselves, that project Miike Snow is really what the band needed to come together and do, and we’re just lucky that we can enjoy it, too.
SETLIST: Enter the Jokers Lair | The Wave | Cult Logic | Bavarian #1 (Say You Will) | Burial | Pretender | Silvia | God Help This Divorce | black and blue | Paddling Out | Black | Tin Box | Devil’s Work | Encore: Sans Soleil (Speakers went out during outro) |Animal