* Guest post from Wern Shen as I wasn’t able to attend this myself. Our VIP passes were courtesy of Absolut Vodka (Pernod Ricard Malaysia). Thank you!
From the moment word got out that Swedish House Mafia was dropping by Malaysia, all the way through the tormenting two hour car ride into Sunway, SHM’s Until One album never left my playlist.
I had been “preparing” for this party for quite some time now, and the first bit of good news in 2013 came from Absolut Vodka in the form of two VIP tickets for SHM’s One Last Tour event. Stoked and extremely excited, nothing was going to stop me from having a good time… except, well, some rather shoddy event management.
Due to Sunway’s signature stand still traffic, I wasn’t able to make it to Sunway Lagoon in time for Angger Dimas or Hard Rock Sofa, but from what I read, it seems that neither DJ acts made it to their opening sets either.
Instead, early goers were entertained by DJ Eclipse, Mr Fluff and DJ Nikki. Not to take anything away from these DJ’s, but it was clear that the crowd wasn’t pleased with the last minute schedule change. Oh well, that’s life in the events world.
Reaching the Absolut Vodka VIP area at the tail end of the opening session, I grabbed a quick drink (which the good folk at Absolut were graciously providing for free all night long) before settling in as near to the stage as I could get. Some alarm bells went off in my head as the crowd looked rather thin, but hey, the party hadn’t properly started yet.
Not long after the opening acts had finished warming up the crowd, a white cloth went up to cover the entire stage. If you’re a fan of SHM and have seen videos of their other One Last Tour stops, then you’d know that this queue signaled that the awesome trio themselves would be coming to the decks pretty soon.
After a sound check or two, and some teasing misplays of the Greyhound video on the screens, the main event of the show kicked off with the 10-second count down.
10. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2…..
The atmosphere grew euphoric even before the countdown finished, and within a matter of seconds, the ticker hit 1, the curtains dropped and the bass line of Greyhound kicked in.
Remember that thin looking crowd I mentioned earlier? Well by the time the second set of bass lines had coursed through the speakers, the entire area in front of me was full. Jam packed. Body to body and everyone in the crowd absolutely loving it!
Everybody raise your head called out Alesso’s next track of the same title, and without a question, the crowd happily complied. It was only the second track of the night, and already the atmosphere in Sunway Lagoon was beyond amazing.
A couple of tracks later, Axwell dropped one of his signature mashups – vocal samples of Daft Punk’s Harder Better Faster Stronger and SHM’s Leave The World Behind over Sebastien Drums’ Here I Come, while Steve Angelo moved himself over to the electric drums to set up the transition to Alesso’s Clash.
Not satisfied with churning out banger after banger, the SHM team of Steve Angello, Sebastian ingrosso and Axwell took turns to mash up their anthems like Axwell’s I Found You over Sebastian Ingrosso’s Calling, and Usher’s vocals on Euphoria into The Aston Shuffle’s Sunrise.
Half way through the set, SHM went faux-mellow with the hypnotic vocals on The Attic’s Together, and cut it into the Axwell cut of Michael Calfan’s Resurrection. Looping Resurrection’s crescendo for a couple of rounds, the crowd literally exploded when the loop burst into Here We Go.
But if that didn’t get the mood up, then the next string of tracks track certainly did, because no one in their right mind could resist the Antidote/Zeus mix up, or singing along to the vocals from Calling into Epic.
Soon after, SHM dropped yet another of my favorites – In My Mind – with Ingrosso climbing to the decks halfway through the tune and teasing the crowd into singing more. Satisfied with the crowd’s response, SHM took the tempo down a notch with Teenage Crime into the SHM mix of Coldplay’s Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall.
Just then, the trip pulled out three Jalur Gemilangs, climbed onto the decks and started waving them around to the pleasure of the crowd.
“We thought Singapore was crazy, but Malaysia is just off the hook”, expressed Ingrosso.
The atmosphere was magical, but what truly made the evening a memorable one came seconds after.
As soon as John Martin’s opening line of Don’t You Worry Child hit the speakers the sky burst open with rain, but instead of running for cover, we reveled in the moment. It was perfect.
As cliché as it may sound, I spotted several of my friends shed a tear when that happened and I was close to shedding one too. The pyrotechnics were bursting off the stage, and we knew that the party was soon coming to an end.
Closing off with One, Swedish House Mafia thanked the crowd and the lights on the stage shortly went off.
But we weren’t about to let them leave Malaysia without giving us an encore, would we?
The trio returned shortly later and dropped two more tracks – the mega anthem Atom, and officially closed off with Pharell’s version of One (Your Name).
When the lights went off this time, they wouldn’t be coming back on, but the crowd was visibly pleased as was I. You can’t have too much of a good thing, right?
As a whole, the event was far from perfect and suffered mainly from logistic issues. It took us about 20 minutes to squeeze our way from the surf beach to the exit, and we even spotted a couple of people passing out in the crowd along the way.
However, the organizers didn’t have to deal with much wrath on that night itself thanks to the superb show put on by Swedish House Mafia, and the hospitality shown by the team from Absolut Vodka.
I once read an interview that said “A SHM show can’t be described in words. It has to be experienced.” Although a little corny, I now understood what the interviewee meant. One Last Tour wasn’t just a rave or a club night. It was a live performance to its core, and the feeling that you get just can’t be explained. The atmosphere, the crowd, the music, and the lights were all spot on. So it rained, but it probably wouldn’t be as much fun if it didn’t.
Well, that’s one thing off my bucket list. :DD