Review: Swedish House Mafia's 'Leave The World Behind' Documentary
Dance music fans were in a frenzy Thursday night as the one-night-only premiere of Swedish House Mafia’s Leave The World Behind documentary hit the big screen at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles. Fans eagerly waited outside of the theater hours before the showing with pre-purchased tickets to secure themselves a perfect spot for the hour-and-a-half film. The documentary directed by Christian Larson and produced by Jonas Akerlund follows Swedish House Mafia, comprised of Axwell, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso, as they perform their sold out One Last Tour. The emotional documentary is filled with explosive festival footage, but also dives into their personal lives giving us somewhat of a reason as to why they called it quits at what seemed to be the height of their career.
The movie begins with the trio riding a speedboat in Miami Beach and wastes no time getting right into the action of One Last Tour. A countdown appears on screen giving us the number of performances left for Swedish House Mafia as they begin with three sold out shows at the Friends Arena. As the opening scenes fill us with pure energy, the movie takes a sudden break and gives us a glimpse of the trio spending time with each of their own families before taking off on tour once again. As famous as these superstar DJs are, we have to remember they are still human just like every one of us.
The documentary is filled with beautiful montages capturing the essence of all the major stops throughout their last tour. It feels like you actually have the best seat in the house watching the trio DJ up close and personal while viewing the massive crowds from their perspective. People in the theater were actually dancing in their seats to Swedish House Mafia’s hits such as “Greyhound” and “Antidote.” The film perfectly depicts how truly incredible their sold out tour was and how powerful their music is as people from all over the world sang in unison and even cried during their shows. People from far away as India expressed their love for Swedish House Mafia and how the music touched their lives, wishing this wasn’t the end.
As the film progresses we learn how the group actually formed and how they exploded into superstardom. They went from playing small underground parties to performing at any venue they wanted around the world. They end up getting involved with the use of drugs and alcohol and it seems as though they lost touch with the music. The film is then centered on the completion of Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child.” The band has 60 days to finish the song so they fly out to an island getaway to focus and work on the track together. While on the plane, Axwell expresses his worries that Swedish House Mafia will just become a one hit wonder after the group's breakup and we’ll end up seeing them on MTV with a reunion show that doesn’t go so well. As the band works on finishing the song we really begin the see them drift apart from each other. Steve Angello leaves to get a tattoo while Sebastian Ingrosso is livid in the production room and it seems as though Axwell is the only one invested in the group. Sebastian Ingrosso goes as far as saying that they just aren’t best friends anymore.
Swedish House Mafia goes on to finish their last round of shows in Los Angeles and to finally perform their very last show at Ultra Music Festival. The film shoots back to the beginning scene as we see them back on the speedboat pulling up to Ultra. Fireworks and lasers shoot through the air creating one exciting climax. However, despite their huge smiles and happy energy while they perform, seeing them behind the scenes is quite the opposite. They express that while this is the highest point of their career, this is the perfect time for them to call it quits. In reality, it seems as though their friendship is failing and in order to keep what little of a friendship they have, they must split up. Instead of dealing with the problems they had head on, it unfortunately got the best of them. Although we are all very sad to see Swedish House Mafia break up, the film does give you somewhat of an emotional understanding as to why it had to happen without really hitting it on the head. Overall, Leave The World Behind was a very passionate film and whether you’re a dance music fan or not, this documentary will have you wishing this wasn’t the end.