Green lasers pierced the thick fog as the mercury started to rise. Bodies next to me writhed in time with the pulsating synthesizers. The euphoric combination of heat, sound and lasers bombarding the senses provided a rush similar to being in the Gobi tent at Coachella with a few thousand of your closest friends. After seeing Thom Yorke at the Orpheum two nights in a row, how could my week get any better? Miike Snow was the answer.
I should have figured the night would be crazy when I saw a line of people in front ofDetroit Bar
at 8:20 p.m., extending to the sidewalk and a posted "Sold Out" sign hanging on the door. Some well-heeled ladies approached the ticket counter for a miracle ticket only to be denied entry. It turns out the last time I saw a line this long at the Costa Mesa venue was for an amazing show by Danish dream-rockers Mew. I was convinced I wouldn't see a better show at Detroit this year, but I was wrong.
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The two-and-a-half hour wait was brutal but worth it once Jack Penate hit the stage. Jack quickly dispensed a nine song set of shimming songs that loosened up the crowd with hip-shaking bass lines and funk-flavored guitars. Some highlights from his set were "Everything is New" and "Tonight's Today". It was getting late so I pondered an early departure, but was determined to see a few songs of Miike Snow.
It took milliseconds for me to realize I made the right decision as a group of white masked men suddenly emerged and dived into "Burial". Each member was extremely vital in recreating the elaborately produced tracks adding the appropriate sound washes. My initial impression was that it was like Daft Punk--if they played instruments. Midway through the set when Miike Snow removed their white masks, it was symbolic and revealing. There were humans creating these otherworldly dance tunes.
A white backdrop with projected visuals was continuously being interrupted by the numerous hands in the air during "Animal". I could spot the members of the band smiling as they gave visual cues of when to proceed into the next musical passage. Detroit Bar was barely standing by the time they closed their set with "In Search Of" and the chants of "Encore!" were dashed by the house lights. One can only hope they come back for Coachella 2010. I will probably be bragging that I saw them at Detroit "back in the day."