ACL Review: Miike Snow
Hurricane pop trio proves anything but studio-bound
By Kahron Spearman,
1:40PM, Mon. Oct. 3, 2016
A veteran touring act, Miike Snow works methodically, seamlessly re-creating its unique math-pop by teasing out all inherent essences and nuance with precision. A spectacle some fans didn’t seem to understand, the Swedish/American pop trio gave Honda stagers everything one could ever want in a pop band with a most stately performance.
All three band members – lead singer Andrew Wyatt, plus Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg – are top songwriters for the likes of Bruno Mars and Kylie Minogue, but their best work’s made inside the Snow laboratory. Wasting no time by launching directly into the J Dilla-soaked “My Trigger,” the audience was immediately reminded why Snow connects: Wyatt’s golden voice, which actually gains considerable luster during live performance.
Songs like “Paddling Out” were played with hurricane force and technical exactness, though you wouldn’t always know it by the threesome’s emotionless gestures. Hip-hop sensibilities found in “Heart Is Full,” complete with a chopped Etta James sample, ran a bit left of the crowd’s sweet spot. “Black & Blue,” initially electro blue-eyed soul, converted into a sunny, guitar-laced jam over house signatures.
On sing-along closer and crowd favorite “Animal,” Wyatt wailed, “I’m still trying to make my mind up/ Am I free or am I tied up,” working up to an extended reggae/psych freak-out flourish. At their creative zenith on the Honda stage, Miike Snow perfected a brand of progressive and mature pop.