Most Swedish, House, and Mafia Things About Masquerade Motel Miami 2012

Check out Crossfade's 76-photo recap from day one of Swedish House Mafia's Masquerade Motel Miami 2012.

Relocating from last year's tent on the beach, Swedish House Mafia's Masquerade Motel enjoyed two very successful nights at Dowtown Miami's recently completed Grand Central Park.

Opening for SHM on both nights were Calvn Harris, No_ID, and Alesso. On Friday, special guests Thomas Gold and Otto Knows graced the stage while Saturday it was AN21 and Third Party.

For Swedish House Mafia, the last few years have been a whirlwind. Before ganging up in 2008, Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell, and Steve Angello had already acheived success on the European undergound house scene. But when they performed in Miami for the first time in 2009, they stll had not garnered the international acclaim they now enjoy.

"You know this is like our other home," Axwell explained at Sunday's show. "We love coming back. We know you have a lot of DJs to choose from. So we thank you all for coming here with us today."

All three Mafia men talked to the crowd throughout their set, which started at around 8:40 p.m. and went all the way to 10:43. And while Axwell and Steve Angello spoke with a slight accent, nothing at Masquerade was more "Swedish" than Sebastian Ingrosso's stab at the English language. 

"Just a quiet night with friends in Miami of ours," Ingrosso said. "You all looking beautiful and most of smiles you have on your face, which is very nice to look at."

The show was spiked with pyrotechnics and fireworks. But nothing was more "House" than SHM's selection of tracks and the crowd's reaction. Though there was a steady stream of SHM hits like "One (Your Name)" and "Save The World," this mobbed-up crew played nearly every popular dance song out right now.

The highlight of the set may have been when SHM asked the entire crowd to "do something we like to do a lot ... Sit down, wait, listen, then rise up when the beat breaks" And they dropped "Heart Is King" by Axwell, which was followed "You Got the Love" by Florence and the Machine as 5000 people sprung up at the same time while fireworks went off overhead and flames scorched the air behind the 15-foot stage. 

Though Ingrosso, Axwell, and Angello definitely aren't your typical made men, nothing has been more "Mafia" than SHM and dance music's takeover of the mainstream charts. 

"The kids want to party," the Mafia's press man, Justin Kleinfeld of Rephlektor Inkorporated, explained to us. "And now you have more access to music through the internet. More people than ever understand and appreciate dance music."

"In the past few years, dance music has become more popular than ever and events like these have become more like rock concerts. You got more mainstream artists collaborating with dance musicians, trying to take advantage of its universal popularity."

In particular, Kleinfeld cited Rihanna's collaboration wth Calvin Harris on her smash hit "We Found Love," Diddy's sampling of Armin van Buren's "Coming Home" and Flo Rida's sampling of Aviici's "Good Feeling" as evidence.

And no doubt, Harris, van Buuren, and Avicii got plenty of pop muscle. But judging from the thousands at Masquerade Motel who were willing to pay tax to Ingrosso, Axwell, and Angello, the Swedish House Mafia just might be the baddest syndicate in this racket.

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