Swedish House Mafia - L.A. State Historic Park - 3/8/13
Swedish House Mafia
L.A. State Historic Park
Anyone who thought chilly temperatures and some rain might deter the rave kids from raving full throttle at the Swedish House Mafia show last night underestimates the heartiness of rave kids and the zeal with which they fucking love this group. Come hell or high water nothing was going to stop this EDM spectacle, and the truth is, it's never that cold out when you're dancing your ass off. Even if it is 50 degrees and you're wearing little more than a sequined bikini, furry boots and a smile.
See also: Our slideshow of the event
Swedish House Mafia -- Steve Angello, Axwell, and Sebastian Ingrosso-- announced their breakup last spring not long after assisting EDM's takeover of mainstream music culture. Since then, the trio has been on a worldwide farewell tour, playing sold out shows for audiences from Johannesburg to Melbourne to Mumbai. The One Last Tour touched down in downtown Los Angeles last night with Masquerade Motel, a multi-stage festival style party that SHM originated in Ibiza and which last night also featured sets by a crew including Nero, Sub-Focus and Alesso.
7:45pm: "The circus has come to town," says the valet who takes my car at the park's back entrance. Indeed this is no rinky dink, one horse operation, this is fucking One Last Tour, a high level behemoth spectacle of production that brings road closures around the park, security men in suits who look as serious as the secret service and a multi-level ticketing system which finds myriad VIP areas and tens of thousands of GA fans roaming the muddy field out front. (Crowd attendance for the two night event is expected to exceed
Timothy Norris 170,000 70,000). At the back entrance, a gaggle of beautiful women in trendy outfits wait to get in, teetering in the wet mud on their stilettos and smoking.
8pm: Inside, the park is filling up fast. Doors opened at 2pm, and those who showed up early could catch a screening of the SHM documentary Take One. The mostly-early-twentysomething crowd is clad in varying shades of neon, with many folks getting into the spirit of the show by donning masquerade masks. (Fact: Most anyone looks sexy while wearing a masquerade-style mask, and especially when they are also wearing a miniskirt and fishnets). I feel simultaneously overdressed and underdressed with my two hoodies and utilitarian winter coat.
8:30pm: Inside the tent-covered ballroom, the smaller of Masquerade Motel's two stages, Nero drops a dirty, inventive set that sees the "Harlem Shake" crossed with The Jet's 1986 jam "Crush On You." To describe the drug use in the thick of this crowd as rampant might be exaggerating, but there are a lot of people doing drugs in here. In front of me, kandi-jewelry clad girls in unicorn hats and novelty neon framed glasses dance with their eyes closed and their hands on their hearts.
8:45pm: Nearly fall on my ass in the mud while en route to the main stage, where fellow Swede DJ Alesso makes a striking silhouette, outlined by the massive panel of LED-lighting behind him. From a distance, it looks like the future.