MIAMI — Swedish House Mafia attempted — and executed — a spectacle of mammoth proportions on Miami's South Beach shore on Saturday. With close to 15,000 masked fans checked in and hundreds of others watching and dancing alongside a massive tent, the house music super-group treated their fans to the nine-hour mini-festival that was "Masquerade Motel: One Night Stand."
While the three Swedes were the headliners, their supporting lineup alone was worth marveling over: A-Trak, Armand Van Helden, Max Vangeli, AN21, Dirty South, and Pete Tong (who also emceed the event) were among the big-name performers. But when it came time for Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso to take the stage, it was clear this show would be like no other Miami has seen.
The curtain dropped to reveal a massive, 40-foot structure adorned with LED screens, lights, pyro and speakers. And with the trio standing at the center of it all, the crowd exploded. Swedish House Mafia opened with their late-summer 2010 anthem, "Miami 2 Ibiza," which was followed by "Dynamite," a new track by Alesso, who was recently signed to Ingrosso's Refune Record Label. Then followed the stream of new music fans had been eagerly awaiting.
SHM dropped a block of fresh tunes, a highlight of which was Angger Dimas' "Are You Ready", an off-center, Arabian-style techno monster that the crowd went berserk for, as the guys danced onstage in sync with their fans. Then there was a remix of deadmau5's "Strobe." Next was Marco V's "Reaver" and a mash-up of Angello's "Show Me Love" and "KNAS," which kicked the show into overdrive, accompanied by a stunning visual display.
As Axwell dropped his new South Beach sizzler, "Heart is King," the dancing masses went mental, as it faded into the smash "Nothing But Love." Max Vangeli and AN21's remix of Pendulum's "The Island" led the crowd to belt out the track's vocal hook.
Next on the set list was Axwell and Adrian Lux's "Teenage Crime," and what we speculate may have been an Ingrosso remix of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep," followed by a mash-up of Martin Danielle and Carl Louis' "The Message" with Ax and Dirty South's "Open Your Heart." The meat of their set had the beautiful, masked crowd shaking the ground beneath them, but all of this was building up to the drop of their new Miami 2011 track "Save The World," an indie-rock-infused anthem featuring the vocals of John Martin. The sea of fans chanted along and waved their hands high in the air.
The crowd erupted when they were treated to surprise guest appearance from Pharrell Williams, who performed "One (Your Name)" with the boys, running out into the crowd on the huge catwalk. They rounded out their massive two-hour set with an unknown mix of "Leave the World Behind," and signed off to roars and applause, thanking fans for taking part in a historic night.
Did you check into Masquerade Motel? Tell us your favorite parts of the show in the comments!