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Miike Snow - Smoke, Glitter And Glam

Lilian Min |
October 15, 2010 | 3:04 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Miike Snow (Creative Commons)
Miike Snow (Creative Commons)
With a lineup like Miike Snow, Mark Ronson & the Business Intl, and MNDR, you can only expect great things. And boy, did all three do their damn best to deliver the goods.

Club Nokia is a relatively cozy venue in LA Live, but even so, the place was stuffed to the gills with all kinds of people: from the ever pervasive “hipster” high schoolers to 40, 50 year old adults, there to enjoy what was being billed as a fantastic night of pop music.

From the pre-show buzz, it became obvious that most people were there to see Miike Snow. So when MNDR strode onto the stage in her monster platforms, most of the audience went, “Who?”

Despite not having the pre-show support that the other two groups had, MNDR had an easy time warming up the crowd.

Decked out in her signature sepia-tinted round glasses, she opened the show with a series of hard-hitting dance hits, lit up against an on-stage screen. The crowd was mostly confused after her menacing opener “Caligula,” but by the end of the show, everybody was singing along to “Sparrow” with her.

MNDR didn’t have a huge catalog so she left the stage after about 20 minutes, but as she coyly bowed out, most of the crowd didn’t know she’d be back very soon.

And when she came back, she brought the Business with her. Decked out in a fitted gray suit and a striped tee (a uniform for the men in the group), Mark Ronson took the stage, bringing along with him the crew for his latest album, “Record Collection.”

While he doesn’t have a huge States following (a girl behind me kept yelling out “MIKE RONSON!”), Ronson’s a pretty prominent DJ in the UK, and his albums have been huge collaborations with up-and-comers and industry vets.

Such collaborators included Pill, a rapper from Baltimore who showed up for his verse in “Introducing the Business,” and a Ms. Marsha, who filled in for Amy Winehouse on Ronson’s cover of “Valerie,” a favorite from his last album.

Also present was Spank Rock, repeating his verse on “The Bike Song” and filling in for other guest verses, including the one in the effervescent “Bang Bang Bang.”

Ronson himself sings a couple backup verses, but the majority of the vocals come from Rose Elinor Dougall and Alex Greenwald, members of the Business Intl. Also imports from the UK, their verses were my personal highlights of the night, on such tracks like “Hey Boy” and “The Night Last Night.”

And then, more than two-and-a-half hours after the show began, Miike Snow finally took the stage for their set wearing Jabbawockeez-esque masks, with their gear covered in antlers and wreathed in smoke, and their Jackalope providing a backdrop.

Despite their personal “anonymous” vibe, their songs were instantly recognizable. Favorites like “Animal” and “Black & Blue” sent the crowd into a frenzy, but the trio played through most of their song catalog, including fan favorites like “Sans Soleil” and "The Rabbit."

Miike Snow’s remarkable success would seem unlikely: two Swedish producers and a little-known American singer/songwriter teaming up to create music. But the producers, Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, have created such hits as Britney Spears’s “Toxic."

Andrew Wyatt, the vocalist for Miike Snow, has collaborated with artists such as Mark Ronson & the Business Intl themselves, whom he joined for the track “Somebody to Love Me."

And by the end of the night, glitter covered the pit floor and audience (courtesy of a few very “enthusiastic” fans), and everybody in the crowd walked/swayed out of the dim venue, smiles plastered on their faces despite any fatigue they might’ve been feeling, especially those who (like me) had been in line for the show at 7.

There is a special quality about live music: all three acts brought it, and what they had to give could not have been better received by the audience.

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