Last Thursday, Swedish House Mafia came back to the City That Never Sleeps after being the first electronic dance group to sell out Madison Square Garden in 2011. While this was big news two years ago, this year Swedish House Mafia unprecedentedly sold out five events on their "One Last Tour," featured at the Hammerstein Ballroom, Madison Square Garden and three other performances at Barclays. With five performances to choose from, I picked up my tux at the dry cleaners, pressed, fresh, and ready to go.
As I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed, I came across a half-hidden post. Lined across the screen, there were three stark black bowties. On the side panel one phrase stood alone: "New York City. Are you ready?" After much contemplation and anticipation, more posts ambiguously hinted a so-called "Black Tie Rave" featuring Swedish House Mafia at a undisclosed location. While the location remained a mystery, Swedish House Mafia announced their intention to help multiple charities for Hurricane Sandy Relief.
December 13th, 2012, I exhaustedly speed-walked through campus to glance down at my Iphone only to see the mysterious location unveiled: Hammerstein Ballroom. Victory was mine. After this information was enclosed to me and the Facebook community, I set my eyes on attending my first viewing of Swedish House Mafia. Not only was this going to be my first time seeing the trio, I also was contributing to a noble cause and pursuing role as an active member of the community. With more time, I learned that the funds raised specifically were allotted to organizations such as The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, Save The Children, and the New Jersey Relief Fund.
With the four previous events sold out, I was ecstatic to hear that Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angelo were headlining a specialized "Black Tie Rave." To see the EDM community come together in such a reputable Mid-Town venue for a grassroot cause, was a beautiful exemplar of the potential we hold as a culture. Not only did we get down to business and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, we looked classy and danced the night away doing it.
As the event grew closer, The Daily Beat decided to try something a little different, so my friend and coworker, Geraldine (Twitter: @ohhmygeeg) wrote an article entitled "What To Wear To A Black Tie Rave." The article went viral.
Anxiously waiting on the bus from Baltimore entering the city, I peered at my phone to see a new picture sent from my friend David Guzman, owner of EDMNYC. In the picture, Swedish House Mafia. Three Swedes stood tall, their faces beaming as they overlooked the top of the Empire State building right before they premiered lighting it up in the Swedish flag's golden yellow and royal blue lights [Video Here].
After finally settling into the city, with my tuxedo and a bowtie in hand, I was ready for a classy night with the crowd decked out in their most elegant gowns and suits, sipping on everyone's favorite drink--the infamous Absolut Greyhound.
In the hectic line leading into the ballroom, photographers waited attentively to shoot guests behind a black tie silhouetted backdrop. Once the lens shutters started clicking, the concrete became illuminated with encapsulating white flash (Pictures from The Black Tie Rave can be found here). I looked to both my sides for the sexy Bond Girls that I imagined escorting to this 007-Chique event. Instead, I found myself next to my boisterous friend, Michael Morello, who just so happened to be my boss at Webster Hall when I worked there last summer in VIP guest promotions.
Opening DJ's featured Brooklyn's own, Carl Kennedy, and the voice of the legendary BBC Radio 1, Pete Tong. However, when we walked into the event, Carl Kennedy's set was just getting off the decks, and Pete Tong promptly began to play at 9PM after thanking Kennedy starting the night off with a bang. Pete Tong's heart-pounding house music mixes were progressive yet nostalgic. Some mixes were composed of notable songs covered in Daily Beat's previous articles, "Let Me Feel” by Jeremy Olander, and Zedd's "Clarity" remixed by Tiesto. Towards the end of his set, auditory memories of the Tomorrowland 2011 anthem sent shivers down my spine and put a smile on my face as Tong dropped Pryda’s “Mirage” w/Empire of The Sun’s “We Are People”. After Tong ended playing, he pumped up the crowd before Swedish House Mafia began, and graciously thanked us for an amazing night before the brief intermission. During the break, I met up with my friend, Samantha with her friend a coworker of Elektro Magazine.
When Swedish House Mafia walked up to the stage, you could feel the palpable energy of the thousands of fans dressed up in tuxes and gowns relishing in the moment they were waiting for. The room exploded in pure ecstasy as they opened up with their first song of the night.
From the beginning, the three played the usuals suspects of their own material such as "We Came, We Raved, We Loved," "Greyhound," "One," etc. It grew interesting when they played GTA's remix of "Channel 42" by Deadmau5 and Wolfgang Gartner, and then out of nowhere Axwell took a turn on the drums during Danick's - "Clobber". I couldn't believe Axwell did that!
When the night was winding down, Swedish House Mafia played, "Don't You Worry Child." As the song played, the Swedes faded down the music, and you could hear voices in unison singing. It was beautiful.
To end the night, Swedish House Mafia played an AMAZING mashup that consisted of an acoustic piano version of their song "Save The World," Sebastian Ingrosso and Tommy Trashe's "Reload," and Axwell's "Heart is King." During this final medley, balloons dropped from the ceiling and the crowd became united in bliss.
Seconds later, confetti was launched into the sky, and at midnight the final words were said to us from the three, "Goodbye New York."
Vibe Magazine Launched a Blog Post entitled: "20 BEST TWITTER REACTIONS TO SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA'S BLACK TIE RAVE, MSG AND BARCLAYS SHOWS," Daily-Beat.com was featured under Pete Tong tweeting "What To Wear At A Black Tie Rave."
If you want to relive moments of Swedish House Mafia's Black Tie Live, visit: Jordangreenblatt's YouTube Channel.
EDMNYC - Swedish House Mafia at the Empire State Building/Opening Video
JordanGreenBlatt - BTR Youtube Videos
AJR Photography via Vibe
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