Swedish House Mafia are EDM’s biggest rock stars.  They are essentially a supergroup, made up of three of the biggest names in the industry, and more so than anyone else, have planned their career like the huge rock bands of past.  ‘One Last Tour’ is their farewell tour, just like every huge rock band before them has done – promising to be the trio’s last huge romp around the world, playing huge stadiums and outdoor arenas around the world.  Their production values are out of this world, ticket demand was at an all time high, and more than any other time in the past, this tour felt like a huge event.  And it took over Manhattan for an entire weekend.

Starting on Thursday, the Swedes turned the Empire State Building blue in honor of their native Sweden, and then performed at Hammerstein Ballroom for the intimate ‘Black Tie Rave’ benefit show. On Friday night, they took over Madison Square Garden, a New York City institution. Then on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, they turned to the brand new Barclays Center for super sold-out shows in the city’s newest arena. How much more can three people take over a city?

It was all for good reason – if this was really Swedish House Mafia’s last trek through Manhattan, no one wanted to miss it. Besides being responsible for a full length albums worth of megahits, these Swedes are known for over the top live shows and productions that are unheard of outside of the main stage of major festivals.  Fireworks, lasers, fire, smoke, balloons, and confetti were on par for the course the entire show. Huge LED screens towered over the trio as they spun tracks, providing pulsating visuals or video sequences synched to the music.  Looking down from above, it was like an adult wonderland.  Everywhere you looked, people were jumping and dancing, encouraged by the huge videos screens and the three guys on stage egging them on.

Musically, you pretty much know what to expect from Swedish House Mafia.  Over the past year, they’ve taken over mainstream radio with hits like ‘Save The World’ and ‘Dont You Worry Child’, and the product placement with Absolut for ‘Greyhound’ has ingrained that song in everyone’s mind as well.  ‘One’ and ‘Miami 2 Ibiza’ were some of the first EDM tracks to break through to mainstream radio.  Plus, each member has a handful of solo hits – Axwell’s ‘ ‘I’ve Got Nothing But Love For You’, Angello’s ‘Show Me Love’, and Ingrosso’s ‘ ‘Kidsos’ – and you know they’ve gotta run through them all for a farewell tour.  So there ends up not being much room for the abundance of improvisation and mixing that these guys do so well in the club scene.  It was a night of greatest hits, and I think that’s what most of the crowd came to see.

This relatively rigid set list allowed for an unprecedented level of audio-video effects synchronization.  Every drop or chorus had flames or pyrotechnics shooting from the stage at the perfect time.  Videos streamed across the screens displaying everything from lyrics to music videos; it was a sight to behold.  Other than Daft Punk, no electronic artist has really come close to touring with such an enormous and impressive rig.

Tens of thousands of young people gathered, danced, and sang along as their eyes focused on the visual magic that transpired that way.  It was a unique experience that is nearly unparalleled in electronic dance music.  While this is supposedly ‘One Last Tour’, if Swedish House Mafia really are rock stars, then we know their next move – wait three years and do an even bigger ‘comeback’ tour.