Miike Snow, on the strength of two records and a hit song, sold out three nights at Terminal 5. At the end of their first show in New York, the question was not how they managed to sell 9,000 tickets but what bigger venue will hold them next.
Miike Snow tend to keep things a tad mysterious but have definitely let the veil of secrecy drop a bit. Still donning masks to start the show — gold, this time, instead of the white half-masks that they used previously — it hard to not recognize the members of the band or their great achievements. Most fans know the Grammy-winning production duo of Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg (who go by Bloodshy and Avant), and, of course, lead singer Andrew Wyatt.
More of the review including the setlist and photos after the jump.
With this high familiarity comes high expectations, and Miike Snow does not disappoint. On record, the band is a pristine juggernaut of production acumen and wizardry, thanks to Karlsson and Winnberg, and emotional vulnerability through Wyatt’s vocals. On stage, the true strength of the band comes pouring out as the band has expanded to include two additional members and some great visuals.
At Terminal 5, Miike Snow are a formidable dance beast. There is this mothership, of sorts, with Miike Snow’s jackalope symbol on the front. On the sides there are various knobs, lights, and other instruments that Karlsson and Winnberg manipulate. Tucked in the back corner of the stage, there is a piano that Wyatt extracts, himself, in order to play certain parts of various songs. There is a live drummer, two additional toms, and a synth station manned by a man in a black hat with a red beard.
That’s the rough technical version of how Miike Snow played 15 songs, ending with “Animal,” at Terminal 5, but there is way more to the band than just the technical aspects.
As a live performing entity, Miike Snow builds a wonderful web of dance music that ensnares due to the vibrant beats and easy emotion of the band. There are no obvious pre-recorded samples, laptops, or iPads controlling the flow of the performance. Looking across the stage, each member of the band appears constantly engaged in creating music. The results are impressive, as songs like “Enter the Joker’s Lair,” “The Wave” or “Sylvia” burst forth into life, building into club cut versions that make the album versions seem puny.
The outro to “Black & Blue” is truly a standout as Wyatt’s airy vocals give way to a rousing buildup and sendoff. Speaking of Wyatt, his vocals often get criticized, as does his personality, but I find that works to Miike Snow’s favor. While Wyatt may not be able to compete with the production or the music, he adds something human. A sense of vulnerability that goes beyond the lyrical content.
That vulnerability propels Miike Snow past the feet and hips of listeners and into their hearts. Sure people were dancing, but plenty more were singing along with Wyatt. The new material furthers this trend from their self-titled debut. On Happy to You, Wyatt’s vocals and lyrics let him get away with non-traditional dancefloor affairs like “God Help This Divorce.”
As Miike Snow continued to deliver grandiose track after grandiose track, it was soon time to say goodbye with “Animal.” Looking back at night one and looking ahead to night three, it seems that Miike Snow will only going to get bigger from this point on. In the near future, it may not be surprising to hear Wyatt, Karlsson and Winnberg play much larger venues than Terminal 5.
Miike Snow Set List (Night 1 at Terminal 5)
Enter the Jokers Lair¬†
Bavarian #1 (Say You Will)¬†
God Help This Divorce¬†
Black & Blue¬†
Black Tin Box¬†