Miike Snow Brings Out the Animals at Ultra Music Festival 2012

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Photo by Ian Witlen
Taking the stage in matching all-black, zip-up satin jackets and dark skinny denim, Miike Snow looked like members of some sort of Orthodox Hipster cult. The long beards sported by two members didn't dissuade the comparison.

And the faithful turned out, with one of the youngest crowds attracted to the Live Stage all day. (Was anyone even aware The Cobrasnake is still going strong? We weren't until he popped up in the crowd.)

With the touring drummer pocketed squarely in the back, the other four members of Miike Snow's live assemblage gathered around various instruments with keys and knobs, including an honest-to-God, actual piano. We doubt that's any sort of Ultra milestone, but its rare enough at an electronic music fest to note.

Of course, the most attentio-grabbing gear on stage was some sort of half-hexagonal rig. It's apparently a new addition to the band's live setup and it didn't actually get used all that much. It looked cool though. Maybe that was part of the point?

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Photo by Ian Witlen

With a new album released just last week, Miike Snow is touring behind that latest effort, Happy to Know You, but the song selection broke in favor of tracks from the group's 2009 eponymous debut. The steady buildup and eventually yearning catharsis of "Silvia" was a particular highlight for us.

Frontman Andrew Wyatt alternates between active participant in the band's music, dancing funk machine, and burgeoning rock god complete with outstretched arms. The rest of the group seemed more concerned with precision and let Wyatt put on the show. Well, he did have some help from the massive amounts of fake fog the band deployed at numerous points in the performance.

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photo by Ian Witlen

It seems that anyone who writes about Miike Snow is somehow obligated to note that members Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg (who with Wyatt make up the band's studio lineup) keep day jobs as production team Bloodshy and Avant. You know, the Swedes responsible for Britney Spear's best track, "Toxic."

But at this point, we think the members of Miike Snow can stand tall on their own accomplishments, especially when they have a damn near perfect pop track of their own in "Animal."

The band ended its set with a revved up rendition of that gem, which sounds much more anthemic live. In fact, we still had "Animal" in our head while leaving the festival. Quite an accomplishment for a band that was sandwiched between legendary songsmiths New Order and Kraftwerk.

Miike Snow's Partial Setlist
-"The Wave"
-"Cult Logic"
-"Burial"
-"Pretender"
-"Silvia"
-"Paddling Out"
-"Animal"

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Bayfront Park

301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL

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