I’m the intern here at Dispatch, so I felt pretty swaggy when my editor said I could get a press pass to the Miike Snow concert. Only immediate problem with this was that they could only get me one pass, which meant I would be solo at Miike Snow. No problem, I thought, I’ll just dress really cute and get inebriated—no, I mean, I’ll take important notes and be a “professional.” Anyway, Saturday night finally rolled around and I got dressed, shot-gunned two Allagashes (sike, we all know that Allagash doesn’t come in a can!) and headed to The State.
The first thing that I noticed was that I was underdressed. What? How could I let this happen? Damn it, I knew I should have worn sequins. The line wrapped around corner and sparkled with glittery pre-teens and overly-trendy late 20’s, all of whom trumped my simple tied white silk shirt and dark skinnies. Foiled. Whatever. I’m the press here, I’m here for business, not pleasure. Yeah, that’s right.
Getting to the front of the line I cleared my throat, glanced over my shoulder and announced to the line and the man at the booth that I had a press pass waiting for me. To my surprise, a “press pass” was just a regular ticket. Baffling. Honestly, I figured it would have been a heavy, solid gold badge that I would need a stainless steal lanyard to hoist it around my neck, which I actually brought just in case. Alright. That’s fine. Here on business.
If there was one thing I could be sure about it was the price of two Allagashes, which I amply purchased. Finding a seat, me and my two Allagashes— excuse me, my two Allagashes and I patiently waited for the show to begin.
Niki and The Dove opened for Miike Snow. Alina and The Beer really liked Niki and The Dove. Some of you may be familiar with their popular poppy tune “DJ Ease My Mind,” but I had never heard of them before the show. Malin, the lead singer, has a voice that has a strange achy similarity to the tunes of Tegan and Sarah, and for a moment I believed myself to be at the wrong gig. But being fairly certain that Tegan and Sarah are both female and that these sounds, aside from the vocals, are pretty different, I quickly ruled that out. A few songs in, I began to realize what makes Niki and The Dove such a great show. Malin’s voice finds a way to unify the song’s beat with the one in your chest creating a strange happenstance, rarely accomplished by a band I’ve never listened to previously. Besides, the guy a few rows ahead of me who was yelling “Sweden” every time there was a pause in the music, I found myself pretty entranced by Niki and The Dove’s europopy, Fleetwood Mac-y sounds.
Towards the end of their set, Gustav (the DJ, you can assume) foreshadowed the performance of Miike Snow with the words, “Winter is coming.” This got my attention. Shit. Night Walkers? Where? I’m heading south immediately.
And by south I mean to the bar where I found my other two Allagash companions waiting for me. I’m so glad you guys showed up, the show would have been such a bore without you.
By the time Miike Snow took the stage I was on the verge of making good use of my beer companions and pelting the guy still yelling Sweden with them. I was ready to make that kind of sacrifice to make that kind of point. Thankfully for him, I was distracted by a warm glow coming from the stage: Miike Snow. Preeetttyyy lights. I wasn’t previously very convinced by Miike Snow’s music; by this, I just mean that their album fell pretty flat for me about the third time around. Without the connection of sound-to-experience, their frothy, frizzy electro pop tunes began to blend together with all the other similar bands. Am I being too mean here? I can’t be the only one who just lumps all of these modern noises together into one conglomerate genre of scruffy haired hybrid DJs. But Miike Snow’s music isn’t meant to be simply heard by audiences, it’s meant to be felt. Miike Snow is a wonderful example of where modern art is heading, which is performance-based and relies on audience experience rather than passive observation. Oh boy, did I experience. The band members took the stage in positions reminiscent of a Battleship game board and the act commenced. With the pulsating light silhouetting their shapes, their tunes shook the room with such beat that the nodding of your head felt more like exaltation to the noise rather than a bodily response to the music. Miike Snow was an abduction, not a show. I soon came to realize that I wasn’t solo at Miike Snow but harmonious with Miike Snow. Heady, I know.
Photos by Casey Ledeux