So I hit New York City this week for some meetings on Tuesday and to catch Swedish House Mafia last night at Madison Square Garden.
After missing out on their epic set 12 years ago at MSG, something I still haven't forgiven myself for, I vowed I would be in attendance at their next one.
Fast forward a little more than a decade and reunion tour later and here we were.
Gametime, the official ticketing partner of Barstool, came through in the clutch for me.
Got hooked up last minute with an unbelievable deal on general admission seats for my buddy Mitch and I. If you don't know what Gametime is yet, it's a ticketing app that makes it easier than ever to score last-minute deals on tickets to sports, concerts, and shows. And they guarantee the lowest price. They cracked the code on how to score deals on last-minute tickets. The purchase process is so quick and easy. And once you buy your tickets, they're delivered directly to your phone — no printer needed. The app also allows you to share tickets with friends via text easily, so you can get into the show or game seamlessly. The best part is you get $20 off your first purchase. All you have to do is download the Gametime app, go to the account tab to create a login, and redeem code "STOOL" for $20 off your first purchase.
We arrived midway through Zhu's opening set.
Aside from doing a really bizarre "musical chairs" rendition. (No really.) His set was awesome. His saxophonist added a ton of flair.
When he wrapped, there was about a 30-40 minute intermission as the stage hands switched over the stage which allowed everybody to go get drinks.
When SHM took the stage there was a giant curtain up in front of their setup. (See first slide up at the top)
The lights cut out and the distant sounds of "Can You Feel It" began echoing throughout Madison Square Garden.
As the beat moved in and built up the crowd started working itself into a frenzy. As everything crescendoed, the curtain dropped just as the beat did and the place went nuts.
The three of them stood behind a wicked long table/booth that they had custom made -
For a show of this magnitude (more on this), I'm not trying to sound like a hater when I say I highly doubt any of this equipment was actually on and working, and nothing more than for show, because the insane production requires everything to be mapped and sequenced ahead of time. Nevertheless, the booth was awesome. But it was NOTHING compared to the visuals, lights, and lasers they had.
By the time they blended into a mash up of "It Gets Better" and "Greyhound" the whole place as off and running.
When the beat dropped on "Greyhound" pyro blasted off on the front of the stage and lit the entire arena up. All three levels. Completely packed and up for grabs. It was officially a fucking party.
(I couldn't find any pics from last night's show online of it, but here it is from Coachella)
I can't say enough good things about the stage design, the lighting and visuals, and most of all the sound.
I have been to a lot of concerts, in a lot of arenas, stadiums, theatres, and ballparks. Nothing sounded as clean and as full as last night's show did.
Granted we're talking about three of the biggest house dj's of all time all on one stage so you know their standards for sound had to be the absolute pinacle. And also you can't name a better arena to hear somebody perform in. Madison Square Garden is unlike anywhere else in the world.
It's the perfect symetrical layout and design. For an older venue its acoustics are superb. The way the rafters go straight up, standing on the floor looking around felt absolutely incredible.
It's also pretty awesome feeling yourself bounce. I'm not sure if there are springs under the floor, or if its due to the Garden being suspended above Penn Station, but the floor was literally bouncing up and down the whole night as the crowd danced.
But the sound. Man the sound was unreal. The bass punched you in the chest with each 808 kick. The high's were crystal clear, even in a sold-out arena with 20,000 maniacs.
They had this big giant ring suspended behind them on stage with both an inner and outer light truss that moved in and out of it up and down. Picture the light setup at Omnia meets the one at Zouk. It was incredible and mesmerizing.
To be completely honest, the set left a lot to be desired for me.
I definitely loved the show, and had an incredible time, but compared to the show I missed in 2010, this one didn't measure up.
The highlight of the night for me was definitely when they played their bootleg version of "The Calling" vs. Supermode's "Tell Me Why". Absolute banger.
After we left MSG we made our way over to Marquee for the after-party.
Thanks to Noah and Mike Garten, two of the best guys in the world, I managed to get in.
Whoever the girl was that opened for them at Marquee was un-fucking-real. She killed it.
Half of the Yankees lineup showed up around 1 and had a table close to the stage. (It is crazy how big Stanton and Judge are. They make Rizzo look normal sized standing next to him.)
The trio showed up around 1:30 and hit the stage and when I say the place was packed, I mean I don't know if I've ever been in a club with more people squeezed into it.
They absolutely KILLED it until about 4 in the morning. Nobody left, and nobody stopped dancing. It was incredible.
I hopped in an uber, hit Joe's, and went back to my hotel. All in all it was an incredible night.
Here is the full set list from Madison Square Garden.
1: SHM - Can U Feel It (Intro)
2: SHM - It Gets Better x Greyhound
3: Axwell Λ Ingrosso - We Come, We Rave, We Love x SHM - 19.30
4: Steve Angello & Laidback Luke - Be x Robin S. - Show Me Love x SHM, Ty$ and 070 Shake - Lifetime (SHM Rework) [unreleased]
5: Alesso & Sebastian Ingrosso - Calling x Supermode - Tell Me Why
6: SHM - One
7: SHM & Mapei - Time x Sebastian Ingrosso, Tommy Trash & John Martin - Reload
8: SHM & The Weeknd - Moth To A Flame (Axwell Remode) [unreleased]
9: SHM & Connie Constance - Heaven Takes You Home x The Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition (Axwell & Dirty South Remix) x Halsey - Graveyard (Axwell Remix)
10: SHM & John Martin - Don't You Worry Child