Last Night: Miike Snow, Canon Blue at the Granada Theater

Miike Snow, Canon Blue
Granada Theater
June 7, 2010

Better than:
Seeing Neil Young at the Meyerson. Just sayin'.

Miike+Snow.jpg
Miike Snow

Before they left the stage last night at the Granada Theater, openers Canon Blue ensured the capacity crowd that they would be "in for a real treat visually and aurally."

This ended up being quite the understatement.

In hindsight, a cautionary phrase like, "Warning: Miike Snow may cause seizures" may have been more appropriate.

In all seriousness: Last night, Miike Snow launched as brutal a visual assault as this town has ever seen.

Out from swirling clouds of fog and mesmerizing beams of dazzling purple light, the three members that make up Miike Snow appeared on stage accompanied by another trio of touring musicians, all dressed in black outfits and mysterious white masks.

After a few songs, the masks were ditched--but the band's propulsive beats and illuminated attack were unrelenting. Even their most familiar songs--like crowd favorite "Black and Blue"--were given the luxury of extended intros and instrumental outro sections, perfectly synched with blinding white strobes.

The fact that Miike Snow is the name of a band and not a specific person is one that many people seem to find more than a little bit baffling. Furthering the confusion, frontman Andrew Wyatt was the only member of the band consistently visible, while his bandmates Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg and a trio of additional musicians were content to remain mysterious figures in the shadows, twisting knobs, chunking on keyboards, pounding a drum set, and playing bass in relative obscurity behind clouds of smoke and piercing searchlights.
 
As more and more electronic-based acts are comfortable bringing laptops onstage and relying on loads of prerecorded backing tracks, it was obvious that Miike Snow felt compelled to perform their set live, and to put a heavy emphases on a compelling live show.

The addition of a live drummer added a more open, bombastic feel than one gets when listening to the album. At no time was this more apparent than in the extended outro to "Animal," the group's most well-known single. The band clicked on all cylinders as perfectly synched strobes and drums throbbed away, growing faster and faster, whipping the sweaty crowd into a frenzy of furious head-bobbing and frenetic swaying.

By the time the song finished, the crowd's screams of approval were utterly deafening.

Critic's Notebook
Random Note:
The Granada has been posting their @granadatheater tweets up on their giant screens in between acts. You can tell a lot about a show by reading the live tweets by people in the crowd. For example: At last week's of Montreal show, all the comments were extremely vulgar and sexual; last night, the screen featured mostly puns about making it "snow" in the theater.
 
By The Way: I absolutely applaud the Granada's decision to put out several pitchers of ice water and stacks of cups for people to help themselves to on the way out the door. It was especially refreshing after the sweaty dance-filled show. Utterly brilliant idea. 

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