Over the course of one Wednesday night, Swedish House Mafia proved to Seattle that their renewal as a trio was anything but ordinary. They brought their Paradise Again tour to Climate Pledge Arena, and it was a journey from start to end. Between the production, stage design, and track list, the show was one to remember. Read the full DMNW review below.
A triumphant reunion
There’s no cutting around it: the late 2000’s/early 2010s were just built different for EDM. Quickly propelling to the front of the world’s attention, it quickly entered the mainstream, thanks in large part to Swedish House Mafia.
The trio comprised of Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell, and Steve Angello launched into global success following hits like Reload, Save the World, Don’t You Worry Child, and tons more. They then embarked on what they billed at the time as one final tour after announcing their split in 2013, going on to pursue independent endeavors.
For the next five years, the three artists remained relatively quiet on the Swedish House Mafia project. But in 2018, they took the stage together at the 10-year anniversary of Ultra Miami, where they had played their last show together five years prior.
Finally, in 2021, Swedish House Mafia announced their debut album, more than a decade since the project’s inception. Paradise Again was released on April 2022, and although it received generally positive reviews, the larger excitement was around their return and album tour. It was especially meaningful for Seattle, since the Pacific Northwest has never hosted a full Swedish House Mafia show.
Opener ZHU gets the crowd moving
If there’s an opener for Swedish House Mafia who is surprising, although not unwarranted, it’s ZHU. The producer/DJ/instrumentalist/vocalist/fashion designer came out in full force, utilizing the capabilities of Climate Pledge Arena’s insane lighting setup. He even brought out a drummer, guitarist, and saxophone player who performed throughout his set.
ZHU always puts on a good show, but he performed an excellent range of the material throughout his four studio-album career. At the end of his set, he played up his game of musical chairs, which became a popular move for him after debuting the game on his Instagram live over an unreleased EP. A handful of lucky concertgoers came to the stage and played musical chairs, while the winner received an exclusively designed ZHU jacket.
Swedish House Mafia pulls out all the stops at Climate Pledge
The production at the show honestly blew us away. ZHU may have teased what the light setup could do, but the main act’s first drop was magical. A gigantic black banner fell away and revealed slanted stage-length white reflective panels with a massive halo with lights dotting the perimeter. Throughout the show, they impressed with bright and bold color combinations, heavy strobe lights, pyrotechnics, lasers, and fireworks.
Everything we could have asked for was delivered beyond expectations. We’ve already sized up Climate Pledge as an excellent music venue on account of production capability alone (see: ODESZA), but this was just another step further. You could hear the whole crowd cheer as the first pyrotechnics deployed, and even feel the heat from the seating on the other end of the arena.
All the hits in one 90-minute set
It must have been challenging for the group to straddle such a wide gap of time between their earliest releases with current material. But if it was a struggle, they did not show it. The track list was filled with the old and new alike, but each track continued on the momentum. You’d be pressed to find more than 20 people sitting down (beyond those taking a breather from the lights) at any given time.
Their closing track was, unsurprisingly, Don’t You Worry Child. Notably, it was also the track’s 10-year release date anniversary. But it was performed as a mashup of Save the World in the perfect culmination to an almost-impeccable show. A few times, we did take note of some mic feedback or one transition that could have been improved. But it didn’t slow them, or the crowd, down in the slightest.
All in all, the resounding message received was this: Swedish House Mafia is back and in a big way. We can’t wait to see where the momentum continues taking them.
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