We came,we raved, we loved — this is what members of progressive house outfit, Swedish House Mafia (SHM), said a few months ago on their website. On Sunday, music revelers from Delhi and cities such as Chandigarh, Jaipur and even faraway Mumbai experienced the heady SHM moments when the three-member band presented their first gig in India. A crowd of 20,000 packed the Unitech Golf & Country Club in Noida for the show.
The five -year-old Grammy-nominated outfit, comprising Axel Christofer Hedfors, better known as Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso, are among the top bands in the international party circuit today. Their India stopover was a part of a swansong world tour; the group will disband after a performance in Miami next year. Titled “One Last Tour”, SHM was to perform in Mumbai on Saturday but could not due to Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray’ death. “We are working with promoters to replace the Mumbai show,” the band has said in an official statement, adding that they will visit the Maximum City in January.
The SHM experience started five kilometres before the venue, with three black dots — the symbol of the outfit’s last tour — appearing on road signs directing fans to the performance space. The DJs’ first appearance was as silhouettes bobbing on a bright stage, and the crowd greeted them with a roar. Over the next two hours, they spun hits such as Nothing but love, the sensuous number In my mind, and the energetic Save the world which features vocalist John Martin. Music stars have an instinctive understanding of a crowd’s vibe and SHM read the Noida audience perfectly, varying the tempo of their songs with the mood. All through, fireworks, lasers, smoke, confetti and loud “India, how are you doing?” by Axwell punctuated the music.
Every fan knows the SHM anthem and “official song of the tour”, Don’t you worry child, and the crowd carried the tune and lyrics perfectly with the band. This was followed by the DJs playing a sinful mash-up of British alternative rock band Coldplay’s Every teardrop is a waterfall. A memorable visual moment was the Indian flag flashing across the screen on stage during the lyrics: “So you can hurt me back, but I’ll still raise the flag”. SHM ended the gig with an encore of Don’t you worry child.
The gig ended around 10.15 pm but the crowd seemed in a party mood. When the line of cars in the parking lot made movement practically impossible, a few adrenaline-charged youngsters switched on SHM classics on their car stereos, and everybody else followed. Soon, the parking area was booming with music. Fans danced on the road and, for close to three hours, nobody seemed in a mood to go home.