For some it was a day of unfathomable sadness. For others, it was a sign-off to the next chapter of a musical legacy that transcends the ranks of the great universal Dance explosion. But whatever the context taken for the ceasefire tour duties of the outfit known fervently as the Swedish House Mafia, the rock star sanctuary of Milton Keynes Bowl played host to the emotional last UK show of this taste making Swedish outfit. With endless speculation surrounding the ins and outs of their decision to stop touring, the star-studded line-up and 60,000-strong crowd made for yet another fine addition to the assorted landmarks conjured by the game saving trio amid their global House onslaught.

Handed the grueling task of kicking off such a formidable event, Axtone’s latest blue-eyed boys NO_ID four handedly set the tone for the unforgettable night. Fresh off the mark from their Ibiza debut alongside the Swede’s at Ushuaïa, the early rising crowds relished in such gems as the duos remix of ‘Leave A Light On’ alongside their own Tech infused hallmarks to persuasively win over their biggest UK crowd to date.

More accustomed to the aforementioned cosmic crowds than most, Fulham residing chart-to-club icon Example was a worthy addition to the otherwise House-rooted line-up of artists. From pop savvy chart-pleasers ‘Stay Awake’ and ‘Changed The Way You Kissed Me’ to forthcoming cut ‘Whisper’ alongside AN21 & Max Vangeli, Example’s signature vocal stylings drew a considerable first swell of hysteria while casting a legitimate light of club appeal to the British heavyweight in the process.

But for all the energy of Example’s hour of live Electronic power, junior Electro advocate and devoutly tipped newcomer to the new age French throne Madeon was a force hypothesized to shine amid the mixed weather and emotional tides. Dealing in wave upon wave of heavyset Electro with a strong and eclectic backbone of nostalgic perseverance, not even a brief technical blunder could counter the positive noise that the pristine young artist aptly beckoned. With insatiable offering ‘Icarus’ and his forthcoming single ‘Finale’ eagerly identified by the surging crowds at the bowl, the young Frenchman entertained a lot of current fanatics while making several thousand new friends in the process with his divine turntable wit.

As the proud protégé of Sebastian Ingrosso and one of the most definitive young Swedish talents to break into the universal spectrum, Alesso’s transition from club connoisseur to arena supporting artist has been sensational. Striking off this deserving spot on the line-up with raw adrenaline fuelled progressive House and soaring through his affinity of high-end remixes and the ID with REM’s ‘Losing My Religion’, forthcoming studio mark ‘Years’ and ‘Calling (Lose My Mind)’ sold the crowd to his renowned talent while utilizing the unsuspecting sunshine that crept across the bowl throughout his set. With a forthcoming spot on Madonna’s tour, the Swede used the end of his heavyweight peers live legacy to set in motion his own newfound association with the high end of European Dance music.

Despite sporting the enthusiasm of a stubborn teenager compared to his Swedish forerunner, the appearance of Scotland’s essential Electro Pop advocate Calvin Harris was not one taken light heartedly by the chart-ascending producer. In a set catered closely to his own infamous crossover exploits and personal re-edits, his utilization of the overwhelming energy between the 60,000 strong crowd was enough to forgive his lack of physical penchant. Between such crowd pleasers as ‘Levels’ and his latest single alongside Example, Harris bottled the energy of the widespread Dance explosion with little room for complaints from either end of the spectrum.

For all the stamina established by the formidable collection of artists at Milton Keynes Bowl, Pete Tong’s contributions fell surprisingly short given his second-to-last spot on the bill. Dealing almost exclusively in flat Tech vibes with the occasional throwback to the Swede’s earlier days and Pryda’s forthcoming single ‘Everyday’, the thinning crowd and undisputable lull failed to reflect his otherwise gleaming reputation as the ambassador to British Dance music.

But none of that mattered by the time Steve Angello, Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso took to the stage to give their UK following the send-off they deserved. This was not a night of overextended goodbye speeches or transient notes of woe, but a formal musical sign-off for a country that has proven the epicenter of the hysteria that has cloaked the Swedish House Mafia’s four-year reign upon European House Music. Launching into ‘Greyhound’ to a firm heroes welcome, the next two-hours would see the trio unhinge the hands of time to blast through an arsenal of modern gems, stone cold classics and exclusive crowd pleasers alike with the authority of the lion’s share. Sporting a mixture of emotions throughout the landmark appearance, the premier of their next collective single ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ proved an uplifting and optimistic notion that while the Swedish House Mafia moniker may not have plans to touchdown on the UK again, their genre-defining studio work has made no such promises as yet. Painting the night sky with enough pyrotechnics, lasers and prancing visual illusions to put the Vegas skyline on stand-by, last night’s finale display was not only an exciting showcase, but a beacon to the 21st century Dance explosion at its most sincere. In an apt post-event statement, the trio suggested: ‘There are no words to describe what happened yesterday at Milton Keynes Bowl’. There are infact one thousand words of praise that could follow their finale UK performance, but none that could do as much justice as their united enthusiasm has done for global Dance music. One thing was certainly encapsulated by the 60,000 strong crowd that made history alongside the definitive European outfit: They came united, they raved like there was no tomorrow and the UK will never stop loving the meticulous dons of Swedish House Music.

Update: A 48 minute video of Swedish House Mafia’s set has been added:

Tracklist of Swedish House Mafia’s set:

01. Swedish House Mafia – Greyhound [EMI]
02. Hard Rock Sofa & Swanky Tunes – Here We Go [Axtone]
03. Deniz Koyu – Hertz [Flamingo] w/ Eric Prydz – 2Night [Pryda] w/ Axwell & Sebastian Ingrosso feat. Michael Feiner – Together (Acappella)
04. Sebastian Ingrosso & Alesso feat. Ryan Tedder – Calling (Lose My Mind) [Refune]
05. Sebastien Drums, Whelan & Di Scala – Here I Come [Stealth] w/ Leave The World Behind (Acappella) w/ Daft Punk – Harder Faster Better Stronger (Acappella)
06. Henrik B & Rudy – Leave A Light On (NO_ID Remix) [Axtone] w/ Thomas Gold – Marsch Marsh (2011 Rework) [Toolroom]
07. Steve Angello – Knas [Size] w/ TV Rock feat. Rudy – In The Air (Axwell Remix) [Axtone]
08. Steve Angello – Yeah [Size]
09. Miike Snow – The Wave (Thomas Gold Remix) [Axtone]
10. Alex Kenji – Blue Strobe Light [Toolroom] w/ Rob Adans – Abash [Work Machine] w/ The Knife – Silent Shout w/ Axwell feat. Errol Reid – Nothing But Love (Acappella)
11. Deniz Koyu – Bong [Refune] w/ Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus (Acappella)
12. Lights [Size]
13. Ivan Gough & Feenixpawl feat. Georgi Kay – In My Mind (Axwell Mix) [Axtone]
14. Nari & Milani – Atom [Size] w/ Michael Calfan – Resurrection (Axwell’s Recut Club Version) [Axtone]
15. Swedish House Mafia vs. Knife Party – Antidote w/ Hatiras, Will Bailey & Nom De Strip – Swagnum P.I.
16. Swedish House Mafia vs. Tinie Tempah – Miami 2 Ibiza w/ Dirty South & Those Usual Suspects feat. Erik Hecht – Walking Alone [Phazing]
17. Usher – Euphoria (Produced by Swedish House Mafia)
18. Pendulum – The Island (Steve Angello, AN21 & Max Vangeli Remix) [Size / OMT] w/ Red Hot Chili Peppers – Otherside (Third Party Remix) [OMT]
19. Hard Rock Sofa – Quasar [Axtone] w/ Diddy, Dirty Money feat. Skylar Grey – Coming Home (Dirty South Remix) [Interscope] w/ Faithless – Insomnia
20. Steve Aoki feat. Wynter Gordon – Ladi Dadi (Tommy Trash Instrumental Remix) [Ultra] w/ Thomas Gold – Sing2Me [Axtone] w/ Red Carpet – Alright (Acappella)
21. Hardwell – Three Triangles [Toolroom] w/ Arty, Matisse & Sadko – Trio [Axtone] w/ Adrian Lux – Teenage Crime (Acappella)
22. DubVision – All By Myself [Spinnin] w/ Dada Life – Kick Out The Epic Motherf*cker [So Much Dada]
23. Swedish House Mafia ft. John Martin – Don’t You Worry Child
24. M-3ox ft. Heidrun – Beating of My Heart (Matisse & Sadko Instrumental Remix) w/ The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition (Acappella)
25. Coldplay vs. Swedish House Mafia – Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall [Parlophone]
26. Tommy Trash – The End [Downright] w/ Florence and the Machine – You’ve Got The Love (Mark Knight Remix) [Toolroom] w/ Swedish House Mafia – One [Virgin] w/ Gotye feat. Kimbra – Somebody That I Used To Know (Acappella) w/ Miike Snow – Devil’s Work (Dirty South Remix) [Phazing]
27. Axwell – Heart Is King [Axtone] w/ Swedish House Mafia – Save The World (Knife Party Remix vs. Original) w/ Ferry Corsten – Punk (Arty ‘Rock-N-Rolla’ Remix) [Flashover]

Pete Tong tracklist:

01. Pryda – Everyday
02. Steve Angello – Monday Blue Monday (Pete Tong Edit)
03. Joris Voorn – Goodbye Fly [Rejected]
04. Gotye feat. Kimbra – Somebody That I Used To Know (Marco Faraone Edit)
05. Pete Tong – Different Gear
06. Hot Chip – Flutes
07. Cirez D vs. N.E.R.D – Raptor Gets Hypnotised (Pete Tong Edit)
08. Jeremy Olander – Love Flight (2012 Edit)
09. Steve Angello – Tivoli [Size] w/ Empire of the Sun – Walking On A Dream (Acappella)
10. Adam Port – Black Noise [Cocoon] w/ The Beatles – Revolution
11. Pryda – Mirage [Pryda] w/ Empire of the Sun – We Are The People (Acappella)
12. M83 – Midnight City (MKB Edit)

Photo credit: Victoria Hagan, Alesso, Northampton Chronicle, Joe Dolling

Words by Dan Carter

29 Comments to “Swedish House Mafia at Milton Keynes: they came, they raved, the UK loved”

  • i thought they are called swedish HOUSE mafia? cause dont you worry child sounds like any other pop song to me. cant believe some guy cryed because of that crappy song. for me greyhound is their last great track.

  • Excellent review! It was one of the best shows I’ve ever attended!! Very disappointed in pete tong though…

  • Pete Tong poor?

    pfft.

  • great writeup mate! have you got a tracklist also?

  • JOHNCONNOR and for me you dont know what HOUSE is.

  • this was the best night ever in my 23 years on earth!!! good job on the text

  • “For all the stamina established by the formidable collection of artists at Milton Keynes Bowl, Pete Tong’s contributions fell surprisingly short given his second-to-last spot on the bill. Dealing almost exclusively in flat Tech vibes with the occasional throwback to the Swede’s earlier days and Pryda’s forthcoming single ‘Everyday’, the thinning crowd and undisputable lull failed to reflect his otherwise gleaming reputation as the ambassador to British Dance music.”

    haha what a joke. Pete Tong always plays deep/tech house sets. His radioshow for 3/4th aswell. WTF do you expect him to do? Play all mainstream chart toppers? For that they put alesso and calvin harris on the lineup.

  • @Ruben, clearly you were not there…. He actually plays a lot of progressive and electro on his DJ shows aswell in case you hadn’t noticed. I love tech house but his performance was literally killing the mood. The contrast between calvin harris and pete tong was almost laughable

  • “Don’t You Worry Child” is not house, it IS a pure pop song. Still, or rather because of that, I’m sure it’ll be a HUGE hit.

  • Pete Tong was included as the penultimate act for 2 reasons:

    1) He gives everyone a breather from the high-octane sing alongs of Alesso and Calvin Harris before the main event, by playing nice tech house and deeper cuts, rather than crude prog-trance-house. This means that when SHM come on, the lull beforehand creates and ever bigger buzz and explosion of excitement.

    2) You may have noticed that SHM tend to use a lot of Pete Tong’s vocal snippets in their videos and intro edits (such as at the Hackney weekend), and I’m assuming last night was no different’. I’m guessing he introduced them?

    So, silly to assume he was going to come out and play Levels and then Calling, etc.

  • @ Qwantum

    Then it is a fail from the eventplanners to put Pete before SHM. You know what you get from Tong so they should have moved him to the afternoon.

  • Appreciate the feedback. Pete is usually very eclectic in his sets – on this particular day, however, I felt he mismatched the mood somewhat. Let’s not forget the guy has carried Dance music on the British airwaves for some time and his Essential Selection show is incredibly healthy for the industry – but every dog has his day and Sat July 14 at MKB simply wasn’t his.

  • @Ed Clowes

    yes pete introduced them! he spent a while building up the crowd ready for SHM. I for one enjoyed his set, shame on everyone for booing him though when he said his own name when he read out who had been on and even mocked the crowd by booing back at them.

  • WHAAAAT… I Personally thought other than SHM of course… Pete tong had the best performance of the day!.. really got me in a buzzing mood for the swedes!!

  • Goodbye Swedish House Mafia <3 <3 <3 At least you guys went out with a bang and a few million dollars too! lol :P

    The Article was well written! Thank you!

  • anyone that has a good knowledge of dance music will probably get the fact people were booing Pete Tong sarcastically probably because he always says “some guy called pete tong. i thought his set was perfect, totally agree with one of the comments above, it was the right slot so to give the crowd a break from the high energy housey/pop from previous DJ’s. Then the swedish house mafia came on and set the place alight! Was the best gig i’ve ever been too. First time ever seeing Swedish House Mafia and probably last. Was glad to be a part of such an epic farewell to them from the U.K. We came. We raved. We loved. yassss :-)

  • @Anton: Are you gna be getting the track-list anytime soon?

  • I do agree with Gordon M’s comment. Came from France expecially for this day, and I haven’t been disappointed at all. If it was doable a second time, I’ll do it for sure !

  • Thumbs up for johnconnor! I totally agree with you!

  • 09. Lights [Size] ?

  • If that was your first time seeing SHM you’ve missed out on when they were actually good, and didn’t play any of this pop-dance rubbish.

    They peaked a few years ago and the only people who follow them now are likely to be 14-18 year olds!

  • I think you will find it was “Yeah” the 2011 edit ;) hehe

  • Lights (Size) Gonna be a huge track, I dont know if is a third party or steve track, Anyway listen.!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7qO_EwKHDY

  • Dont forget that any track of any genere could turn pop music, Dont forget whats the meaning of pop music….

    Tomorrow rihanna could make a track with minimal or techno music , and that music could turns pop, Just for that.
    Dont worry child Still an amazing track.
    Sorry for the english

  • This was my first time going to a event like this and I had the time of my life. I know all this music is getting popular. But that what’s music movements are about.

    Plus next year I hear Avicii is going to the bowl !!!!

  • Avicii at the Bowl :D hahahahaha fail

  • wow they actually played their usher track..wonder how the crowd reacted to that lol

  • SHM = Shitty House Music. I hope they stay retired forever. Fuckin sell outs playing usher WOW

  • Pete Tong was fantastic. Calvin Harris did nothing but play his own poppy hits (which I don’t blame him for, they got the crowd moving), the night massively needed something a bit different and Pete delivered in abundance. Pete’s set was one for the lovers of all forms of house music, those that can appreciate music which goes beyond merely scratching the surface of mainstream electro and progressive.

    It would have been a crime to have such an immense day of house music without briefly getting something a bit more techy, minimal and some proper prog (Pryda!!) in the mix. Hats off Pete Tong, you ashamedly play the music you love and on the day, didn’t feel the need to bow to what was probably ultimately… a mainstream audience.

    The 17 year old kids behind me said that you were boring and the tunes repetitive, I thought you absolutely smashed it.

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