Live: Miike Snow Brings Atmosphere To Music Hall Of Williamsburg

miikesnow_mhowmarch20.jpg
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Miike Snow
Music Hall of Williamsburg
Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Better than: The $3 pre-show falafel.

Fresh from running the SXSW gauntlet, Swedish electropop trio Miike Snow played to a packed Music Hall of Williamsburg last night. The Hall was packed, which isn't too surprising given that they've already sold out their show at Terminal 5 next month. But I had never seen MHOW in such a state—game-show lights that I didn't even know were available flashed, while fog machines filled the cavernous space with enough "atmosphere" to billow out of the first-floor door when people exited the stage.

The lively crowd was going nuts before Miike Snow even pushed their first note, creating an atmosphere more suitable for Terminal 5. Maybe it was because opener Jaques Lu Cont bailed last minute; maybe it was because it had been three years since most of them had heard new Miike Snow material. But when the band started playing songs from their first album, the crowd was easily discernible over the music, which was seemingly impossible as the music was audible even during cigarette breaks; my ears rang before they even had a chance to ring.

Ghostly black-and-white images of bodies in black and white projected behind them made it clear: Miike Snow is a different band than the one that released "Animal" in 2009. The new material they played seems to represent a more thoughtful consideration for their melodies; there was, however, still plenty of low-end percussion and reverberated synth.

Andrew Wyatt's increased vocal range is the most discernible contrast between the band's old and new material. Wyatt wasn't just offering up the same highs and lows as before. His vocals at times brought to mind Cee Lo Green, albeit without the stage banter; he instead let the music speak for itself, keeping the discourse to a minimum with simple thank yous between songs. Throughout the entire show the band just looked like three dudes, alone in the same space, busy at work behind their synths and keyboards. There was nothing raw or organic about this performance; each song sounded as calculated as it would record. But Miike Snow's realness comes from how much their music sounds like the recorded versions—a feat in and of itself.

Critical bias: After a week of SXSW, I wish I would have ordered ear plugs earlier.

Overheard: "Why don't we come to Brooklyn more?" Ugh.

Random notebook dump: The ticket claimed happy hour lasted from doors to showtime, but at 10 p.m., a tall boy was $4 and the only music I'd heard was from someone's tired playlist.

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