FRIDAY, MARCH 04, 2016|
Posted by: Don Saas
Miike Snow are at a turning point as a band. The Swedish alt-pop stars played the album release party for their new record, iii, last night at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City. As vocalist Andrew Wyatt pointed out last night, it was the band's first show in support of the new material. Miike Snow is the sort of band that is too big to play venues like Le Poisson Rouge (they're a Terminal 5/Irving Plaza band at the minimum) but an intimate venue like the storied Village concert hall/NYU hangout spot was the perfect place to shake off some stage rust.
Miike Snow would likely be the first people to admit that there was some stage rust going into the evening. Technical problems abounded (although it's likely those were as much issues with LPR who don't generally host acts with as much high-end production as Miike Snow) and you could tell that the band hadn't had a chance to play a lot of these songs in front of an audience before (their new record, iii, was released just today). And it's a testament to how good these songs are and how solid of a performing troupe that Miike Snow are that these concerns ultimately didn't matter.
There are few songs that I've bumped with as much regularity as "Genghis Khan" this year. Alongside "Somebody Else" by the 1975 and David Bowie's "Lazarus," it's an easy contender for my single of the year (with the acknowledgement that we're precisely two months and four days into the new year). And although I'm trying to cut back on my usage of "dance party" as a descriptor for shows (I've been to very few indie pop/dance/electro shows in the last year that couldn't be described as a dance party), Miike Snow turned Le Poisson Rouge into a bumping rave, and I've still got the bruises on my head this morning to prove it. So, you know, here's a shout out to the drunk girl who was about half a foot taller than me that kept elbowing me in the top of my head. Much love.
Miike Snow have gotten to the point where they're big enough to have huge crowds of loyal fans at their shows, but they've also started to get enough crossover appeal with hits like "Animal" and "Genghis Khan" that there are a lot of folks at the shows who think Miike Snow is the name of the person singing on stage and not the band. I counted at least six folks who referred to Miike Snow as a singular "he" instead of "they." At one point, I heard a guy who I'm pretty sure was about three blunts deep get asked if he knew Miike Snow's music and he replied with, "Oh! I love him. He's so great." The Village, man...
Fortunately, for the actual fans in the audience and for folks who've known for years that Miike Snow are a band at the forefront of warping, subverting, twisting, and re-imagining the best of contemporary alt pop, the NYU crowd was worth enduring. Andrew Wyatt is a supernova of the energy that any alt-pop frontman should aspire to and the screens and light show the band was putting on was the perfect counterpoint to their thumbing and fuzzy electro pop. Throw in the other members of the band, Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, and the only people in the venue with more energy than the band was the audience who didn't stop moving the whole evening.
Our review of iii will be running soon, and it's safe to say that Miike Snow are here to stay.