Documentary Review: Leave The World Behind – Swedish House Mafia


Leave the World Behind
By: Annalysa Vasquez
April 3, 2014

On April 2, 2014, select cities across the U.S. were lucky to have a screening of the Swedish House Mafia’s documentary, Leave the World Behind. The film, by Christian Larson, documents the final tour of legendary EDM artists Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell, and Steve Angello as the powerful Swedish House Mafia. With amazing tracks like “One” and “Greyhound” (in addition to many more) and most recent, “Don’t You Worry Child,” Swedish House was rising to the top. However in 2012 they announced their break-up. Though they could have easily dominated the EDM scene with their popular progressive/electro house tracks and their high energy performances, the trio had a sort of falling out. Not wanting to leave their fans too broken hearted, Swedish House went on one last world tour to say good-bye.

Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello  first came together at a young age. While Ingrosso had always had love for electronic music, Angello was more into hip-hop, but after listening to Daft Punk’s album “Homework” he had found his love for the genre. Later on, Ingrosso recruited Axwell and the three began playing gigs for fun together, not knowing what a brilliant and impacting future lay ahead of them. The film shows a brief history of how they each got into electronic music and the progress they have made over the past decade.

Throughout the film you can clearly see the impact that Swedish House Mafia had on their fans. Sold out shows from Sweden to Mumbai to Australia to the U.S, fans went by the hundreds and even thousands to see their high energy, banger packed, unforgettable set one last time. I was one of the lucky fans who attended their show in San Francisco, and it was beautiful! In the film, every single person who attended a show had huge smiles on their faces and the happy feeling you got while watching these fans experience the sounds of Swedish House was unbelievable! Even if you did not attend one of their shows, the film portrayed the tour so well that everyone in the theatre felt as if they were there.

The film was very vague in answering the question that is on everyones mind. Why did Swedish House Mafia Break up? There was no clear answer, however it was understood there was a falling out between the three and in a couple of scenes you could clearly see the awkward tension. They all said that there were things that needed to be said that hadn’t been, issues that need to be resolved yet have not been addressed, and much needed commitment to the group that probably will not happen. Axwell, specifically, seemed to be the most reluctant in wanting to go separate ways, Ingrosso seemed to have finally wanted to commit but Steve Angello seemed more accepting of the break up. This left the film very unsettling for its audience who wanted to know why their favorite EDM group would be no more.

There is no doubt that Swedish House Mafia has made brilliant tracks and delivered some of the best sets in EDM history, and it is extremely unfortunate that they will no longer be creating music together. Their music has inspired people, including me, all over the world and will continue to inspire even if the EDM scene fades. Fortunately for us, each member continues to make music and perform at festivals and clubs, and sometimes two will even perform together, giving the crowd an amazing experience.

Some favorite SHM tracks: Miami 2 Ibiza, Greyhound, One, Save the World, Leave the World Behind (w/ Laidback Luke), Every Tear Drop is a Waterfall (remix), Antidote (vs. Knife Party) and Don’t You Worry Child