Miike SnowThe sold-out Miike Snow gig at Melbourne’s Hi-Fi Bar was charged with a palpable energy right from the word, “Yo!” uttered, of course, with the slight baritone twang of the Swedish accent.

Hailing (mostly) from Sweden, the band – that’s right, band, though the name Miike Snow may suggest otherwise – consists of three members: Andrew Wyatt, the lead vocalist and only U.S. citizen, and the Swedish producing team, Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, a.k.a. Bloodshy & Avant.

Kicking off the gig with Cult Logic, the band, joined by two other members, arrived on stage donning their trademark white masks and matching tracksuits. Their opening track segued into the next, which was the crowd-pleasing, up-tempo song, Burial that got the whole crowd singing along to the chorus.

In fact, despite only launching their eponymous debut album, Miike Snow in October 2009, it is unquestionable that the band has already formed a staple following here in Australia. Every track they played was accompanied with a sing along and ruckus cheers, not to mention a constant stream of people trying to squeeze into the already chock-a-block, hyped dance floor.

In many ways, the music of Miike Snow – indie electro-pop – is even more wonderful when experienced live, and this can be mostly attributed to the production team of Bloodshy & Avant. The DJ and record producing duo, who have produced songs as diverse as Britney Spear’s Toxic and Kelis’ Fire, make the transitions between each song flow seamlessly into the next, creating what felt like an hour-long set of two or three whole tracks. More often than not, the intro and outro of each song, stamped with the renowned Miike Snow heavy-synthesizer, base-thumping and contrasting ephemeral sounds, was stretched out to produce extended mixes, which only fed the crowd with the opportune moments to dance and bounce in unison. If anything, the heart of the gig was not so much the lyrical aspect of the music, but the instrumentals.

Having said that, the band’s songs benefit from the melodic hooks featured in such tracks as Silvia and the ‘ahs and ohs’ of the chilled out, ocean-feel of Sans Soleil. The addition of a live drummer, and the band’s insistence on playing their forceful keyboard riffs and crunching beats live (as opposed to a pre-recorded backing track), is only testament to the dedicative nature of their live performance.

Towards the end of their set, Miike Snow played their first single from their debut album, Animal, which was the highlight of their gig. The audience was treated to an extended remix of this much-loved track, which had a wicked outro section that can only be aptly described as a frantic merry-go-round ride, accelerating faster and faster as time went on.

It must be said that the focus of their live performance is very much the music, with little to no bravado or mouthy interludes, with the exception of reiterating the fact that they are a band, and that no one in the band is named Miike. Alongside their atmospheric music, and obscured by the smoke machine and dim blue-green lighting on stage, Miike Snow manages to create a visual and audio cocoon in which crowd can feel very much a part of.

Miike Snow


The Hi-Fi Bar
Tuesday 3 August, 2010
www.thehifi.com.au or 1300 THE HIFI (1300 843 4434)

The Forum
Wednesday 4 August, 2010
www.moshtix.com.au or 1300 GET TIX (1300 438 849)

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