“It feels like the last day of school,” Axwell told the immense crowd gathered at Bayfront Park and on YouTube for the last-ever Swedish House Mafia show. And ‘show’ was the word for it: the trio wasted no expense on pyro, staging and visuals, bringing its own slick team to work with Ultra Music Festival’s Main Stage designers. (As Axwell put it to inthemix: “There’s no use in doing a half-arsed show. It’s either tight or it’s not tight.”) From where inthemix stood, front-and-centre in a mass of people sprawled in every direction, the atmosphere was volcanic. Meanwhile, backstage, a throng of DJs, including AN21, Boys Noize and Skrillex, headed to get prime position for the big send-off. Then there was the reported presence of Daft Punk, too, said to be in town with Columbia reps ahead of the release of Random Access Memories.
With Pete Tong introducing the set, no one on-ground or watching at home was expecting curveballs over the next 90 minutes. As the One Last Tour arena gigs showed us, it was always going to be a succession of anthems backed by big-budget production. On that front, Swedish House Mafia and Ultra delivered a spectacular send-off. With the trio silhouetted against the concave screens of its stage structure, the set launched with We Come We Rave We Love and Greyhound, before reeling out the sing-along hits from each producer and their friends.
During his mid-set thank yous, Axwell gave a shout-out to “Pyro Pete”, and Pyro Pete was working overtime, with the Main Stage shooting flames and fireworks on drop after drop. While inthemix saw the same set last week, when Swedish House Mafia closed out Ultra’s first night, every hands-in-the-air moment this time had an added charge. In-booth cameras also focused on the electronic drum-kit that was worked into later One Last Tour shows. As dazzling as the Main Stage production was, it was a familiar trick – telling the crowd to sit down, then jump up – that was one of the biggest moments.
As usual, Axwell controlled the mic. “Thank you for this great journey that you’ve given us,” he said. “It’s a new horizon for us. One love.” The stockpile of fireworks exploded overhead for Save The World, and it was time for the big finish. As the headliners left the stage, the screens scrolled with the message: “You came, you raved, we loved it.” Backstage the path was cleared as Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello piled into a waiting car. The Ultra Main Stage was where the Swedes made their North American debut back in 2010, and tonight was as iconic a bookend as they could’ve hoped for. Stay tuned for more inthemix coverage from Ultra weekend two.
GOODBYE SHM. â¤4EVA
— Tommy Trash (@djtommytrash) March 25, 2013
Upon a hill across a blue laaaake… 🙁
— Knife Party (@knifepartyinc) March 25, 2013
Thank you @swedishousemfia
— Nicky Romero (@nickyromero) March 25, 2013
Thank you @swedishousemfia for inspiring all of us. We will miss you!
— Hardwell (@HARDWELL) March 25, 2013