Swedish House Mafia - Madison Square Garden - 3/1/2013

Pics by Laura June Kirsch. See More Photos From The Evening.
Better Than: Being able to hear for the rest of the weekend.

If Friday night's Swedish House Mafia show were a short film, it would open on the scene where I'm in a stall in the men's room, surrounded by screaming, rolling 18 year olds, knocking back a shooter of Bushmill's and wondering what turn my life took to bring me to this point. Since this is, in fact, a blog post, I'll offer a more straightforward introduction.

See also: Live: Swedish House Mafia Reign Supreme At Madison Square Garden

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Oddsmaking: Is The Best Dance Recording Grammy Basically Skrillex's To Lose?

If you think the opinions of critics and passionate fans of rock and rap and pop and country mean nothing to the Grammy Awards, being a dance-music fan widens the gap that much more. Essentially, if you're allergic to bottle service and/or newbs with glow sticks, you're better off crying into your pitch-shifter. The bulk of this year's Best Dance Recording roster is out to party like it's 1999—specifically, that year's Ministry of Sound compilations, only dumbed further down. Yet that's notable in itself—part of a shift exemplified last December, when I this Top 40 back-announcement: "I heard that overseas three years ago. That's how far ahead of the curve Europe is when it comes to dance music." That pronouncement is this category—which has six nominees instead of five—in a nutshell.

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Live: Swedish House Mafia Reign Supreme At Madison Square Garden

Swedish House Mafia w/A-Trak, Jacques Lu Cont
Madison Square Garden
Friday, December 18

Better than: Sitting around and becoming convinced audio of a microwave breaking is actually a leaked Daft Punk track.

Swedish House Mafia sold out Madison Square Garden in nine minutes for Friday night's mammoth "One Night Stand." Impressive enough, but if the deafening crowd response was an indication, the trio of Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Axwell could have filled the space three times over. Playing MSG is a coronation for any group, but Angello sounded like he was celebrating on behalf of a worldwide electronic music family when he said early on, "We've come a long way. We put a nightclub in Madison Square Garden!" The merchandise for sale was just as inclusive, emphasizing the singularity and historical significance of a DJ group filling MSG. (One t-shirt slogan: "We Came. We Raved. We Loved.")

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