Live: Axwell & Ingrosso Explode at Governors Ball

Days after announcing they would be releasing an album together, former Swedish House Mafia members Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso closed Governors Ball on June 8 with a high-octane set, their first as a duo, featuring fireworks, lasers and several new songs.

It has been more than a year since Swedish House Mafia, the star house trio that helped make EDM a pop and arena-tour juggernaut, walked away at the top of its game with its last show at the 2013 Ultra Music Festival. Steve Angello went solo and is working on an album for Columbia due in 2014. But Axwell and Ingrosso decided to keep the magic going: In May, they announced they would tour and release music under the name Axwell & Ingrosso. Their live debut as a duo? Governors Ball in New York.

On the first song, "This Time," a male topline sung the fitting lyrics, "I see the dawn of a new beginning," before a surprise guest rap from Pusha T. The pair sprinkled five more new songs throughout the set, blended between tracks from Angello, Daft Punk and, naturally, Swedish House Mafia. On one, the pair turned an on-the-spot sample of the crowd's applause into a percussive hiss before dropping a stuttering bassline. The standout, "Sun Is Shining and So Are You," had the crowd singing the hook happily. Like Swedish House Mafia's hits, the songs had pop-radio immediacy, but also proved ready-made for drop-happy festival crowds - or at least this one, which never stopped moving.

Behind Axwell & Ingrosso, a giant screen flashed trippy, Matrix-chic graphics that made it seem as if the duo was DJing inside an android's acid trip. In front of them, lasers, confetti and steam machines blasted off. And then there were the fireworks - several rounds of them. The spectacle could've outshadowed the new music, but these songs were too brash and bass-heavy to play sidekick. Either way, the pair successfully opened an exciting new chapter in its career, and closed Governors Ball with a bang - literally and figuratively. 


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