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A Band That Does More Than Just Blow Smoke

October 8th, 2010

Miike Snow – Terminal 5 – October 7, 2010

Miike Snow - Terminal 5 - October 7, 2010
Before Swedish electro-rockers Miike Snow even took the stage last night at Terminal 5, the show had already begun. Deep trance played over the PA and smoke machines kept spitting out clouds from the stage. The smoke built up as showtime approached, until the entire venue was enveloped in a thick mist and half a dozen synthesizers, amplifiers and digital noisemakers were completely obscured. The concert was either going to be epic or overwrought with self-indulgence.

The band took the stage wearing creepy masks and immediately delved into mad-scientist synth, digitized bass and falsetto vocals, daring those in the crowd not to dance. And dance they did, hopping up and down, singing along like they were lip-synching in their apartments. Between the masks, the lingering thick smoke and the bright, synchronized lights shining into the audience like flashlights, Miike Snow seemed to remain purposefully out of sight as they churned out song after song from the eponymous debut. The show was about the energy, the spectacle of lights hitting smoke and turning into sinewy streams of photons you wanted to reach out and grab.

Although limited to material from last year’s album, the Swedes did just what you’d want them to, eschewing a straight reading of the studio versions for reconstructed dancehall-ready takes. “Silvia” featured a thrilling jammed-out coda, and the set closed with a monster version of “Animal,” which had everyone in the audience doing a kangaroo hop, trying to keep up with an outro that got impossibly faster and faster. —A. Stein

Photos courtesy of Diana Wong | dianawongphoto.blogspot.com