Raving the Night Away

Swedish House Mafia Live in Manila

The sixteenth day of 2013 witnessed an extravagant party that left its attendees hung over for days. On that chilly night, the Mall of Asia Arena was transformed from a simple concert venue to fit the ultimate rave. To describe that night as epic would be an understatement.

Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell, and Steve Angello, better known as The Swedish House Mafia have definitely made a mark in the electronic dance music scene. Their debut concert in Manila is also their last in the country. They announced late June of last year that they would be going on One Last Tour – the official name of their current tour.

Inside the Arena, the atmosphere was an excited one. People were shuffling in and out of the venue, and official merchandise was selling out fast. Upon entering the Arena proper, one would get a club-like vibe. There was a huge dance floor, and to its left and right were sections with tables and two bar areas. If not for the surrounding bleachers behind the tables, one would have mistaken the Arena as a club.

At around eleven in the evening after Martin Pulgar and Quintino finished their sets, it was time for the rave to begin. Lights out, hands raised, heads banging and fists pumping — the crowd was psyched for the Swedish trio to take their places behind the DJ table.

The whole arena was at a blackout when suddenly lights started flickering on stage. The screen, which was as huge as a movie theater’s, showed 1/3 of their logo — a white dot — fading in. Suddenly, everything went black again as if teasing the already animated audience. The screen lit up again, this time with more images flashing together with thunder-like sounds. The beats were getting faster until finally they hit a cliff: a cue for the audience to scream even louder as they anticipated the trio to enter.

The stage went white. What appeared to be the screen was actually a white cloth that fell to ground, and revealed the set-up: there were two silhouettes mixing behind the huge table, and the real screen lay at their backs. By the third minute of their introductory song, the screen displayed their official logo.

Swedish House Mafia One Last Tour

“We Come. We Rave. We Love.”

Swedish House Mafia’s tagline was rapidly blinking across the gigantic screen as an electronic voice chanted it. Again, the stage exploded with lights, visuals, and smoke as the familiar beat of Greyhound dropped in. The crowd was out of control – fists and glow sticks were punching the air; people were jumping, dancing, and going wild with the music.

“Manila, Philippines. My name is Axwell, and this is Sebastian Ingrosso. We are the Swedish House Mafia,” a deep accented voice boomed through the microphone. The crowd responded in screams. A lot of people were wondering why only 2/3 of the group was on stage, when they explained that Steve was stuck at the hotel, after having gotten a bug. Though one member down, the show was still a massive success.

Swedish House Mafia at MOA Arena

During Greyhound, already fireworks had erupted and the electrified audience knew that this was definitely one for the books – and to think 2013 had just begun! The explosion of fire on stage foreshadowed a night that was so extraordinary that it would be hard to explain with words.

Some of the songs in their set list consisted of Here We Go, Antidote, Epic, In My Mind, Reload, Miami 2 Ibiza, Don’t You Worry Child, Sweet Disposition, Calling, and Every Tear Drop is a Waterfall.

During Every Teardrop is a Waterfall, Axwell and Sebastian waved the Philippine flag. Eventually, the flag became the backdrop. In that moment, Filipinos felt proud.

The minute Don’t You Worry Child came on, the crowd was gearing towards its energy peak. Hands down, the best moment of the night was when the Arena was filled with a thousand voices in unison singing the chorus. Sebastian and Axwell had turned down the volume to an almost inaudible level to hear how loud the crowd was. “You guys can really sing, ah. Thank you, Manila!” It was a moment that triggered goose bumps as voices echoed throughout the hall.

During the bridge, they told the audience they wanted to do something really special. They then instructed the crowd to sit down. With lights from cellphones, cameras and glow sticks in the air, everyone was at a stand-by, itching to jump back in when the chorus came. And when it did, the energy was so powerful it could have brought the Arena down.

The crowd still buzzing with energy after what seemed like Swedish House Mafia’s last song. Just when they thought Sebastian and Axwell would leave the stage, they announced that they “seemed to have forgotten to play a tune.”

Swedish House Mafia One Last Tour Manila Concert

The Arena was dimly lit again save for the few blue and purple strobe lights that accompanied the beginning beats of Save The World. “Thanks for being so amazing tonight. It’s been a real pleasure,” they announced before plunging into the final song and the crowd clapped to the beat. When Swedish House Mafia’s logo came on screen, it was bittersweet knowing that it was the last song and the their last tour. Everyone gave their all and sang along to every word. Again, the duo turned down the volume to hear the audience sing.

After Reload, the duo expressed their gratitude before playing a snippet of Don’t You Worry Child. “It’s been an amazing night. Swedish House Mafia loves you.” Transitioning back to Save The World the duo asked the crowd, “Manila, one last time. Are you ready?” Yes, the crowd was exhilarated and prepared to rave one last time. They flowed with the beat, danced, and got lost in their own world as Swedish House Mafia concluded with the outro.

The night was filled with pyrotechnics, streamers, confetti, smoke, and lights; each effect and visual in perfect synch with every song. As the final beat played, smoke rose through the stage, and the crowd knew that an epic night concluded.

They Came. Manila Raved. All Loved.

Written by Isabel R. Matias

* Special Thanks to Ovation Productions


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