Returning to Ireland for the first time in 5 years, Swedish juggernauts Axwell Λ Ingrosso took to the stage at Belfast’s Belsonic Festival, bringing the curtain crashing down in style on the Northern Ireland-based festival. Having seen the likes of Tiësto and Oliver Heldens perform on the main stage in 2016, the event held at Belfast’s Ormeau Park carries a burgeoning reputation in world dance music, with the likes of Martin Garrix and The Chainsmokers among those on the bill this year.
With Jonas Blue warming up the largely teen-based crowd, the Swedish duo, who last performed in these parts back in their Swedish House Mafia days, emerged to a rabid audience shortly after 9pm to the tune of their now famed opener, “How Do You Feel Right Now?“. The bass-heavy drop and dub-laden breakdown continued for the first half hour or so as the pair took a more “Ingrosso” feel to the set, working in tracks from the man himself, including 2016 hit ‘Flags’ and recent release, ‘Ride It’, a collaboration with Salvatore Ganacci, signed to Sebastian’s REFUNE label. With the sell-out 15,000 strong crowd screaming with excitement, the pair then took things to a more progressive feel, using the Pharrell Williams acapella of ‘Dream Bigger’ over the melody of Ed Sheeran‘s ‘Shape of You’ before launching into Third Party and Garrix collab, “Lions In The Wild.”
With the clouds of the Belfast sky giving way to peaks of sunlight creeping through, even as 10pm approached, daylight refused to give way, and so the Stockholm pair delivered a taste of their iconic ‘Antidote’ visuals to the dancing audience, complete with holographic flamethrower. Powering through the hits of their peak SHM glory years, the young Belsonic crowd sang along, before Axwell took centre stage with a flurry of his own anthems, including Shapov collab ‘Belong’ and the famous Axwell remode edit of Michael Calfan‘s ‘Resurrection.’
The recent ‘Popularity vs Originality’ debate caused quite a stir in the dance music industry, with several arguing the case for each side. But here at Belsonic, Axwell Λ Ingrosso made a firm case for the popularity side, reeling off hit after hit in a highly polished display. Consistency is a key attribute for any producer or DJ, and the Swedish duo can always be relied upon to deliver a high energy set, jam-packed with bangers from start to finish. Ending with singalong anthem ‘More Than You Know’ which has real potential to define the legacy of this pair post-SHM, the Swedes made the sun shine one last time into the now-dark night sky, with ‘Sun is Shining’ playing out to the bouncing crowd, as explosive colourful fireworks filled the moonlit air.
In bringing in this duo to close out the 2017 edition of this ever-growing festival, Belsonic pulled a masterstroke. It is fair to say, that Axwell Λ Ingrosso… Belfast love you.
More than you know.
Photos: Belsonic Festival, Belfast Telegraph