We are just four months away from the return of the legendary trio Swedish House Mafia. As fans buy their (overpriced?) concert tickets to see the Swedes in action, one must ask themselves: Is it really worth the hype? Should I fly out, or spend my paycheck to see Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Steve Angello reunite? The answer to these questions for mostly any hardcore EDM fan would be yes.
However, as a big fan of each individual artist myself, I question whether spending nearly $500 (hotel, flight, ticket) to see them together is worth it. I’ve had the fortune to see Axwell /\ Ingrosso back in 2016 and it truly felt like a Swedish House Mafia set with all of the old classics. Does adding Steve Angello really make it all that different? Is this all overhyped?
Branding, Marketing, and a Short Discography
The trio’s success has to be mostly in part to nearly perfect marketing campaigns they do. They are masters of creating hype and discussion with their famous three dots. What they did, marketing wise, prior to reuniting at Ultra Music Festival in 2018 is a prime example of it. If we break their discography down, they only have 8 singles released. Yet, they are put on a pedestal by many as pioneers of the genre. True, it could be argued that seven out of the eight are considered “hits”. However, there are artists out there with 20 incredible songs and don’t receive 1/4 of the attention the super trio does.
We saw it when they announced their One Last Tour and how people reacted. Some people just jumped on the bandwagon with no knowledge of the trio. People became incredibly saddened about the split even though they did not have a long history or many tracks. Marketing-wise, it was the best decision they’ve made. Now, 5 years later, they’re back and on the brink of what could be the greatest tour (and money grab) ever. It seems to be as the better their marketing the bigger the hype is.
It is always good to set low expectations with these types of “reunions.” As we see in today’s industry, music is not that of the golden era of EDM (2009-2013). Artists follow trends that sell. We will have to see if Swedish House Mafia will continue with that legendary progressive house sound or will transition into a pop/electronic vibe (sort of what Axwell /\ Ingrosso was).
Set wise? We got a glimpse with Ultra 2018. It will be a mixture of classic SHM singles with tracks from Steve Angello, and the Axwell /\ Ingrosso project. Hopefully, we get to hear more than one new single from the trio this upcoming tour. Personally, I would love to hear the revival of the big room progressive house that has faded away. If anyone can bring that trend back is the Swedes.
In the grand scheme of things, Swedish House Mafia has pushed, through marketing, the EDM scene into the mainstream. Some people may say that they are overhyped, and have been for a while, but credit is given when due. The Swedes have the opportunity to come back with new incredible music and a fire tour, or to let down the hype. Knowing their history and marketing techniques, I’ll place my odds on success. As I’ve seen Axwell /\ Ingrosso before, I don’t feel as if I am missing much. However, the hype around the trio itself is what makes me intrigued about investing in this concert. Will you?