It’s the night that all fans of three piece electronic combo Swedish House Mafia have been dreading since the announcement earlier in the year that the DJs would be going their separate ways at the end of 2012, it’s the closing party of SHM at Ushuaia, the last ever SHM gig in Ibiza. Playa d’en Bossa is normally carnage in August anyway but tonight, as we make our way to the hotel that changed everything, there is an increased volume and an unusually large number of Swedish flags. All roads lead to Ushuaia as Ibiza gets ready to say goodbye to SHM.
We have been covering Ushuaia since it opened last summer and this is as busy as I have ever seen the outdoor venue. There is literally nowhere to stand, apart from maybe behind the giant stage, but good luck getting over there. The monster crowd occupies every available piece of real estate; some enterprising fans have climbed to higher ground and are enjoying a panoramic view of one of the events of the summer. Even the stage, normally reserved for the very close friends of the artists, is packed, is this going to be one of those, “I was there the last time the Swedes played together in Ibiza” stories for the new generation?
The SHM are a bit like Marmite in that they divide opinions, on the strength of tonight, however, it is clear they are one of, if not the biggest electronic DJ/ producer acts on the planet right now. The closing party responsibilities fall on Axwell and Steve Angello as Sebastian Ingrosso is in a hospital ward somewhere awaiting the birth of his new baby. A fact that is brought to the attention of the huge crowd as, during a technical break down, Steve Angello grabs the mic and gets the whole Ushuaia crowd to let out a big cheer for the missing Swede. The resulting roar is such that he might just hear it (of course he won’t but it is a nice gesture nonetheless).
Ushuaia is rocking, sweaty bodies everywhere, bouncing along to the music where they can, getting lost in the onslaught of electronic anthems, ‘You’ve Got The Love’ vocals over the top of ‘One’ gets a huge cheer as the massive crowd makes sure it enjoys every last second of the farewell. Faithless and Coldplay receive the same treatment, with each breakdown met with a wave of noise while the subsequent build up prompts the huge ice and confetti cannons into action. There is a real carnival atmosphere, if this is the end of the SHM in Ibiza, they are going out with a bang. ‘Save The World’ produces the loudest karaoke session we have ever heard in Ibiza and, as thousands sing along, the duo of Axwell and Steve Angello can only stand, hands in the air and wonder at the journey that has brought them to this point in time – three successful DJ/ producers in their own right who became one of the biggest phenomenon’s in the global electronic scene.
As the last of the confetti falls and the air is filled with the smell of fireworks, the SHM Ushuaia closing party is done. The Swedes, or two of them at least, have said goodbye to Ibiza, although there is no doubt all three of them will continue their love affair with the island as another chapter in their careers gets set to start.