On Friday night, while I was traveling towards New York City on the Long Island Railroad for a night of debauchery, I couldn’t help but notice a bunch of auspicious characters aboard my train.
Now I’m definitely not yet at that age where I become overly judgmental of 19, 20 and 21-year-olds who are being rowdy and obnoxious while on the LIRR. By the way, for those who don’t know — drinking is legal on the train. Thus, any Friday or Saturday night (or early Sunday morning), the train is chock-full of drunk people. Usually myself included.
I remember being 21, pregaming with liquor at a friend’s house and then and drinking beers on the train with a large group of people. You’re young, you’re fun and you’re looking to have a good time. I feel that.
Sure, perhaps I’ll put the music a little louder on my iPod to drown it out, but I won’t actually become angry at them. I’m still a few years away from that.
But in this particular instance, I could not help but be judgmental. And it wasn’t necessarily because of their volume, but because of what they were wearing.
It was about 30 degrees outside, and we’re right at the tail end of winter, and yet, there were groups of kids wearing multi-colored tank-tops and shorts, bizarre sunglasses and hats and some were even wearing costumes. It was absurd.
And don’t even get me started with the girls. I’m as big of a creeper as anyone, and I’ve mastered the art of checking out girls without being noticeable, and yet, I couldn’t make eye contact with these girls without feeling dirty. What these girls were wearing technically did not even qualify as clothes. Their shorts were barely even anything. And their top would have been perfectly suitable had they been on a Caribbean beach, but instead, they were in New York City in March. A little different.
And there were dozens of them. I had no idea what was going on, but I never felt more out-of-place in my life.
After I arrived in Manhattan and went about my night, I kind of forgot about them. but I later learned why these cretins were all flocking in droves towards Madison Square Garden.
The Swedish House Mafia was performing.
For those who aren’t as “hip” with things as you should be, the Swedish House Mafia are a supergroup of DJs. Yes, there is such things as a DJ supergroup. Typically, such a group involves lead singers from various popular bands joining together to create an album. In this instance, three acclaimed Swedish house DJs, named Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso, joined forces to put out an album.
Other than that, I really don’t know much about them. But I could just generalize them into what I already know about electronic house music and just assume that it’s really loud, repetitive and abhorrent. It’s just not my thing.
But then, the following afternoon, I discovered that I actually like one of the Swedish House Mafia’s songs. The discovery shocked me. The song in question, called “Don’t You Worry Child,” plays almost every time I go to the gym, and it has really grown on me. And as of this morning, I have officially uploaded it to my iPod.
I will make one exception to my dislike of electronic music. I can more than tolerate it when it comes with a catchy vocal. Songs like “Without You” by David Guetta and Usher, or “We Found Love,” by Calvin Harris and Rihanna are enjoyable. Sometimes when you combine the right mix of electropop and a catchy vocal, it works. And it does for those two, and does for “Don’t You Worry Child,” featuring the vocal styling of Swedish singer John Martin.
So I get the Swedish House Mafia. I understand what they’re trying to do. And I’m sure they put on a great show.
But what I don’t get… is their fans.
The following night, on Saturday, I returned to the city. My night was mostly devoid of Swedish House Mafia Fans. At least, until the very end. While I was traveling home, my train stopped at a station in Jamaica, Queens, and sure enough, on came the mutants.
Curious as to why I was only seeing them now, I stopped one of them, and kindly asked him why he was dressed the way he was, even though I already knew the answer. When he responded with “Swedish House Mafia,” I asked him where they were playing. He said they were performing at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which explained why they were all boarding at Jamaica.
And that’s the story of how my weekend started and ended with fans of the Swedish House Mafia.
Just when they were starting to grow on me, I then learned that this current tour will be their last. And thus, I will never again find myself crossing paths with any of their eccentric fans.
I miss them already.