One of my great regrets from this year’s Coachella was not being able to catch Swedish-American electro trio Miike Snow Sunday evening, but I wasn’t going to miss Spoon on the main stage and Phoenix’s ridiculously energetic set. God bless Los Angeles, then, for hosting four (!) separate dates by the pop uber-producers, whose only non-sold out show was the one I made it to a half-hour away in Pomona last night. I was worried that this would be the band’s weakest set coming at the tail end of more prominent shows in Hollywood, but they put on a four-hour set that might crack my Top 3 concerts of all time once my ears finally stop ringing.
Although there were still tickets available at the door, the Fox Theatre, a mid-sized theatre with a sizable balcony, was still packed almost to the brim by the time openers Canon Blue headed off and Miike Snow arrived to the tribal beat of “Cult Logic.” Along with singer Andrew Wyatt and DJs Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, the band had enlisted another keyboardist, bassist, and drummer to put on their entirely live show. The band’s superb eponymous debut, released last summer, was a largely electronic one, but the group played everything live through what looked like some very expensive sets of synthesizer and DJ equipment. They also came out inexplicably decked in Jason-esque masks that weren’t removed until the charged wall-of-sound guitar solo that ended “Black & Blue” about halfway through their initial set, adding to the semi-creepy vibe of darker songs like “Cult Logic” and “Plastic Jungle.”
Perhaps the best part about a Miike Snow show, and one my friend who saw them at Coachella first told me about, is that Karlsson and Winnberg mix everything as they go along rather than use pre-set mixes from the album, making every show a unique and increasingly danceable experience. Wyatt was no slouch on vocals, either, and credit must be given to the Fox Theatre’s sound crew for keeping his falsetto clearly audible over instrumentals that could get quite loud. The band played every song off their debut save for two, including a ten-minute-plus encore rendition of “In Search Of” that absolutely blew the roof off.
That would have been the end of any normal show, but Karlsson and Winnberg aren’t your normal DJ/producers. An hour after the proper show ended the duo put on a live DJ set on the Fox Theatre roof patio for anyone who stayed around. Under their Bloodshy & Avant monikers the duo have produced numerous radio smashes, most noticeably Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and “Piece of Me.” The two switched off on the turntables for a full two hours more, going well into the early morning and playing an eclectic mix of old-school techno and grimy house that had me wondering how the apartments across the street were getting any sleep. Add to that the intimate rooftop vibe (I was literally standing right next to the DJ booth the entire time and shared a beer with Winnberg at one point) and increasingly more unhinged the pair got, and I honestly wasn’t sure the party was ever going to end. Alas, around 2:30 the pair finally shut it down for the night, although another DJ proceeded to get on and keep the party going. Hell, I could still hear music blasting as my friends and I drove away. Utterly exhausting, but easily one of my favorite concerts.