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Video: Miike Snow at the Paradise


Miike Snow play "Animal" at the Paradise

The elusive Swedish producers-turned-indie-pop-hitmakers Miike Snow have worked hard at translating a subdued electronic debut album into a rousing live performance, but their sold-out appearance at the Paradise this past Wednesday proved that the transition can be a bumpy and confusing one.

The founding three members of the band are seeking strength in numbers with this tour: Miike Snow were six on stage Wednesday, each member sheathed in a lustrous black track jacket. Extending most of the cuts from their eponymous album by several minutes apiece with a bunch of clubby, synth-soaked psychedelia, the band were accompanied by digitally simulated pyrotechnics and magnified flashbulb effects against a hanging backdrop image of their emblematic black-and-white jackalope. Original band members Bloodshy & Avant (a/k/a Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg), who won a Best Dance Recording Grammy for their work on Britney Spears’s “Toxic,” were positioned aside frontman and guitarist Andrew Wyatt, where they studiously hovered and bobbed over their mixing tables.

But this was no dance party a la Girl Talk (thank God), in spite of the array of outros spiraling into trance jams and the intriguing beat reworks following otherwise low-key songs like “Silvia,” after which the sixsome deftly flowed into the ominous “Plastic Jungle.” The heavily bearded and stationary Wyatt might be to blame: His vocals were muddied beneath all the electronic hoo-ha, and he seemed disengaged from the audience. And when Bloodshy & Avant had nothing to do and were left to attend to their water (beer?) bottles during the sparser “Sans Soleil,” the din of the shuffling crowd roared louder than Wyatt’s instrumental output.

Still, the strangely fratty audience was pleased nonetheless, awkwardly acquiescing to Bloodshy & Avant’s “hands-in-the-air” propositions and going nuts when the band began to play their trademark single, “Animal,” in double time. And despite Wyatt’s lethargic stage presence, the group still garnered enough cheers to warrant an encore. (But then again, who doesn't?)

Wednesday night’s performance and the juxtaposition of a lackluster Wyatt with his caffeinated Euro-tronica bandmates is a sign that Bloodshy & Avant’s background in pop production is Miike Snow’s greatest asset, and that the group’s growing fanbase is one perfectly satisfied to watch a couple of dudes fiddle around with buttons on a stage for an hour.

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