On February 20, 2013, Swedish House Mafia, an EDM trio consisting of house DJs Axwell, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso, rocked the sold-out United Center in Chicago. Tickets for the show went on sale September of last year, and within an hour, they were gone. It’s surprising that another show wasn’t added; it probably would have sold out just the same. Either way, for the fans that were at the event, it was one that will be remembered. Having never been to an EDM show at an arena, I was curious as to how everything would be set up. The floor was of course general admission, and the higher levels were designated for reserved seating, but even though there are seats in the 100 level sections, they were general admission.
I had a 100 level GA ticket, and it was an interesting experience. As a fan, I would have loved to have been on the floor, dancing with everyone else, but being up a little higher was great for viewing the show and all of the special effects. Unlike most EDM shows, since this one was in a big stadium, Swedish House Mafia could do anything they wanted. They had a big DJ booth with five horizontal panels that had colors and designs flashing on them throughout the show. There were also two screens, one on each side of the stage that projected the show and fans from the crowd onto it.
The coolest parts of the concert were, hands down, the pyrotechnics and the amount of lasers they had. Sparks rained down on the stage during “Reload” a Sebastian Ingrosso and Tommy Trash collaboration. Fire shot up from the stage floor for the Swedish House Mafia and Knife Party collaboration “Antidote” as well as other tracks. Explosions and fireworks were timed perfectly to the drops of several songs. With all of that going on, there is no doubt that the light show of lasers was the highlight of the special effects. Being dead center in the back of the arena in the 100 level section definitely had its perks. I could see every single laser that made up the designs of the show.
The colors and movements of the lasers was like nothing I’ve ever seen before, so it was really great to experience that with other EDM fans. Sure, almost everyone at the show was rolling, smoking, or drinking, but that doesn’t change the fact that rave-goers are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. You’re going to party with the people around you for the next few hours, so why not make friends with them? They’ll share their rave-shades with you, offer you some water if you’re thirsty, and hype up the energy by just having a fun time dancing with the people around them.
And the dance music was awesome. Swedish House Mafia opened with “Greyhound,” which instantly had the crowd jumping and dancing. The group didn’t deviate much from their own tracks, but with so many hard-hitting beats, they didn’t have to. They played a remix of Usher’s “Euphoria,” a remix of Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” the original version and the vocal version of Sebastian Ingrosso and Alesso’s “Calling,” Axwell’s remix of “In My Mind” by Ivan Gough and Feenixpawl featuring Georgi Kay, “Miami 2 Ibiza” featuring Tinie Tempah, and “One (Your Name)” featuring Pharrell. “Don’t You Worry Child” featuring John Martin was played as confetti blasted up over the crowd, and “Save The World” also featuring John Martin was played as big balloons fell from the ceiling. Swedish House Mafia closed out their set with a mashup of “Don’t You Worry Child,” “Reload,” and “Save the World.” At the very end of the show, credits rolled on the screen, thanking every single fan for coming out and supporting them. Except for a massive thank you at the end of the credits, the last words to roll were:
WE LOVE IT.