On March 24, Swedish House Mafia played their One Last Show at ULTRA Music Festival in Miami, causing many to wonder if they'd really be gone forever or were just saying "see you later." They announced their last tour on June 24, 2012, so it's been a long time coming; however, when it happened during ULTRA's second weekend, there was a mixture of joy and sadness that couldn't be matched.
Axwell, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso are the perfect example of an electronic music group successfully taking house music to the mainstream, while staying innovative and distinctive throughout the journey and maintaining their core audience of devoted fans. Even if they've only been a group since 2008, in the past five years they made their mark in a landscape of over-produced, predictable dance music, collaborating selectively with artists like Laidback Luke, Tinie Tempah, Pharrell, and Knife Party on various records and brands like Volvo for their last show's stage production and design.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Steve Angello spelled out the important reason for the band's breakup saying, "We just decided that we reached a point where we didn't know what the next move would be, which is sort of us trying to create some sort of chaos, mix shit up a bit for ourselves." While the news broke a lot of fans' hearts, it felt ernest and sincere, even with rumors of them starting a new band or focusing on individual projects. With the pace that dance music is moving at, it's easy to see why a band as successful as Swedish House Mafia would take time to re-center or reinvent what they do, in a way similar to LCD Soundsystem or Daft Punk, whose recent hiatuses have been met with mixed dismay and understanding (until the latter's return, of course).
Their one last show was a moment when fans all over the world could tune in via live stream. Both those at the show and those commenting online had the same things to say, resembling degrees of sadness that this brilliant music would no longer continue. After all, even music aside, hardly anyone in EDM (with the exception perhaps being Tiesto) has nailed a live show and multiple tours over and over again like Swedish House Mafia. Their top-notch visuals were provided by Volvo, as well, and they ended the show with fireworks.
It was sad to hear them say their mantra a last time, but it was a moment we'll never forgetâ€”"We came, we raved, we loved." Yes, we did, and hopefully it won't be the last time.