With the first weekend of Coachella barely in the books, a select few festival goers prematurely resurfaced Monday night in Santa Monica. Namely, KCRW’s Jason Bentley (still sporting that black and white geometric shirt that he wore while hosting the YouTube webcast), and a handful of fans, all of whom were on hand to see a live performance from Miike Snow, themselves fresh off a Sunday night Mojave Tent slot that ended at 10:35pm.
That is, in less than 21 ½ hours, Miike Snow quantum leapt from a closing set at the world’s most heralded music festival to playing a room that could barely hold but a couple hundred folks. So is the chaotic and transient life of rock stars. If there is any glamour in the grind, it likely doesn’t faze Miike Snow, whose members have written and produced with marquee names, the likes of Madonna and Britney Spears.
And so, as they took to the stage of Apogee Studios to record a performance and interview (to be broadcasted and streamed on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic on May 3), it wasn’t all that shocking to notice a sense of calm surrounding Miike Snow, who if left to the (de)vices of many touring ensembles, may have arrived to Santa Monica in a debaucherous blaze of glory. Instead, what Bentley identified as a certain “special magic” emitted from the group, which member Andrew Wyatt confirmed as “good kismet”.
Miike Snow must’ve felt at home; their first US show (and second performance ever) took place at KCRW’s studio circa 2009. The performance began with “My Trigger” off of their 2016 release, iii. As Wyatt stretched out his falsetto, Pontus Winnberg laid down the bass line. Collectively, the tune somehow managed to evoke the theme song from Spy Hunter.
“I Feel the Weight” had a couple false starts, but once it got going, the slow jam morphed in to quite the tender and soulful song, living up to its name as Wyatt crooned deliberately via auto-tuned vocals, “I feel the weight of a love that’s gone away”.
During the interview portion, after Bentley confessed to singing the catchy and single-ready “Genghis Khan” in the shower, Wyatt confessed that the song came to him one lonely night driving up Highland Avenue. He was feeling jealous about a long distance lover with whom he resisted a committed relationship. As his mind wandered down a psychological rabbit hole as to the possibilities of what she might be doing that night, the “brutal side” of him began to craft the song.
The show ended with a trio of tracks off of their 2009 eponymous debut. Miike delivered “Silvia” in two distinct parts, taking it for the longest walk of the night. The aggressive “Black and Blue” shook walls and bones, another performance worthy of its title. Finally, “Animal” saw Wyatt shift from the microphone to keys, as he had much of the night, before a cacophonous outro swirled with electronics.
For a big tent band, Miike Snow tailored this one well for the space provided; in some ways, it felt like a Miike Snow acoustic set, in spirit, if not in sound. For the shared Coachella hangover in the room, perhaps this is just what the doctor ordered.
The Heart of Me
Heart is Full
I Feel the Weight
Black and Blue