A lot of the best dance music emerges from Europe, and Swedish House Mafia was no exception. The infusion of sounds from three extraordinarily producers was quite the treat for newly emerging ravers and seasoned ones the same. Their take on house, electro and progressive house music engulfed the scene and threw electronic dance music into the worldwide spotlight. While the talent of Axwell, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso was pertinent, there seemed to be something more than the music that ultimately created a lifelong society of fans.
While dance music had already found its way into the lives of many, a lot of the new age ravers, myself included, found their way into the scene in 2013. Regardless of what genres of EDM we listened to at the time, the impact of Swedish House Mafia could not be ignored. I remember the devastation that stemmed from the announcement of their impending split, and heard multiple accounts of fans crying at their last set at Ultra Miami 2013.
To invoke such a response from listeners is a revolutionary skill, and the group achieved this through expert collaboration and, seemingly, a message of positivity. This fan base became tangible in the 12-minute sell out of their massive show at Madison Square Garden, which was a giant leap for dance music. They were the first electronic act to headline – and sell out this iconic venue.
Tributes are made towards this explosive trio at festivals even to this very day when their songs “Don’t You Worry Child”, “Save the World”, and my personal favorite “Antidote” are played. The good thing about music is that it can be played forever, and, based on YouTube comments under these songs, they truly are. Fans make a point to comment the year under the songs to let others know that they are still listening, 5 years later. SHM really brought dance music to the forefront of ALL music, and people who may have never heard dance music were roped into the scene.
One special fact about this trio is they made it a point to be involved in the entire production process surrounding their concerts and festivals. Everything from promoting, to choosing lights and laser assembly, to handpicking and mastering each song based on their upcoming performance was done by them. This was displayed diligently at their shows, as production like this was unheard of in the past. This extra effort spoke volumes to fans, and they rose to number 10 on the DJ Mag Top 100 in 2011.
Many EDM fans, myself included, look back on the “golden days” with rose-colored glasses (or should I say rose colored diffraction glasses). This nostalgia can be felt each time a Swedish House Mafia hit is played, and it is this sentimentality that keeps dance music fans coming back for more. Their last performance will be talked about for years to come, and to see this community of people come together through their love for this DJ group and the music is something that will never be forgotten.
We can only hope for a reunion, but until then you can catch me bumpin’ “Antidote” at any given opportunity.
Featured photo: Swedish House Mafia Facebook