Luxe Life Blog
Photos: Swedish House Mafia’s Masquerade Motel at The Joint
By Anisa Buttar, contributor
Swedish House Mafia’s Masquerade Motel has revolutionized live music.
The European trio is a super group consisting of Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso, all three of whom are ranked in the Top 20 of DJ Mag’s annual Top 100 list. Their debut album, Until One, was released Oct. 25, and since then the group has invaded America, bringing their Masquerade Motel production from its residency at the legendary Pacha nightclub in Ibiza, Spain, to America for a pair of Halloween performances in Miami and Las Vegas.
Hundreds of people dressed in their Halloween best filled the lobby of The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel for the occasion. The most popular costumes were the lavish attire and accompanying masks associated with a masquerade ball, keeping in line with the concert’s theme. Those wearing high heels were in for an arduous night, as the show would last 7 epic hours.
DJ AN21, younger brother of SHM member Angello, warmed up the crowd with a 2 1/2 hour set as the venue filled to capacity. He got the crowd in a festive mood, appropriately sampling the theme of the horror flick Halloween.
But at 1 a.m., it was time for the main event as a white curtain dropped from the ceiling and obscured the stage. A countdown was projected on the curtain, and the crowd response was deafening. When it reached 1, the words “masks on please” flashed across the screen as it fell, revealing the three DJs who blew air horns from a 20-foot tall platform while lights and lasers flashed throughout the venue.
They opened with one of their most recognizable tracks, “Miami 2 Ibiza,” their second single released this year. The 3-hour set covered tracks from their new release, including “In the Air,” “One” and “Nothing But Love.” The group also played the single “Pjanoo” by former member Eric Prydz, who is now based in London.
Costumed attendees broke out into dance at nearly every turn. The atmosphere was very amicable -- even security guards posed for pictures and happily interacted with the crowd. Toadstool, Yoshi and a plethora of Disney characters danced with glow sticks as the devil himself weaved through the crowd giving personal light shows to those in front of the stage.
SHM employed a wide repertoire of remixes and samples along with their chart-topping tracks. The trio paid homage to techno titans with remixes of “No Good (Start the Dance)” by The Prodigy and “Right Here, Right Now” by Fat Boy Slim. They also showcased their diversity, sampling songs like “Other Side” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” and MGMT’s “Kids.”
This wasn’t your average Las Vegas nightclub experience, as the costumed characters and carnival-like atmosphere gave the concert more of a rave vibe. The cast of Sesame Street pumped their fists up in the balcony with Barbies and zombies. Some of the most detailed ensembles included Scorpion and Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat, Tim Burton’s Alice and Mad Hatter and gaggles of Lady Gagas donning sunglasses and chunky heels, the best ’do going to the Gaga with coke cans wrapped in her blond curls.
What brought the concert to the next level were the guest appearances. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit, dance music icon Tiesto joined the group onstage during his remix of the track “Phazing,” originally created by Australian DJ Dirty South. The Aussie DJ also was in attendance, making the crowded booth a dream team of top DJ talent. The crew would stay onstage for the remainder of the evening.
Five hours into Masquerade Motel, Angello addressed the crowd. “I want to do something we’ve been doing over and over again,” he said. “I want everyone in this room to sit down, and when the track kicks in, I want everybody to jump up.”
Fireworks and flames exploded onstage as the crowd became one, undulating to the dense beat of the hit “Sweet Disposition,” originally performed by Australian indie rock band The Temper Trap. Dirty South, who mixed the song with Axwell, jumped and cheered with the Mafia onstage, making it one of the night’s most exciting songs.
Near 4 a.m., the face of the devil had turned pink due to sweat, and many women were dancing barefoot with heels in hand.
“Are you ready for the last 10 minutes, Vegas?” Angello asked.
The group closed with a mash-up of their hit with Laidback Luke, “Leave the World Behind,” and “Louder than Words” by David Guetta and Afrojack. Showing no signs of letting up, the crowd danced and shouted the refrain as the final fireworks and explosions lit the stage.
Even after SHM left the stage, the hardcore crowd was still dancing. Partiers who wanted more were invited to Tiesto’s after-party at Vanity, where they could continue until 8 a.m.
With an elaborate stage production, world-renowned talent and first-class friends showing up, Swedish House Mafia treated Las Vegas to a truly epic and unforgettable Halloween show.
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