Yesterday I went to the “concert” of The Knife in Amsterdam. The band did achieve their goal “Shaking the habitual” because today the internet is exploding with comments about the concert, both positive and negative reviews on different websites and lots of discussions about what a concert should be or should not be.
We arrived at the Paradiso quite early. After two hours of listening to a Kylie Minogue remix that was on repeat(The DJ forgot to bring more music?) the support act started. At first we couldn’t really hear where the voices were coming from because there was nobody on the stage.. But it seemed that they put up a small stage on the other side of the hall. The support act was called ‘deep aerobics’ and that was actually what it was: Aerobics on electronic music to loosen up the crowd. After that there was another five minutes of Kylie Minogue (can’t ever listen to that song anymore..) and then The Knife started. Seven or eight different persons (among them Karin & Olof Dreijer, the key-members of the band) in weird glittery suites started playing on self-made instruments. I especially liked the huge wooden box with one string on it, which produced a low bass drone sound that made everything vibrate. But then everything started to get a bit different and weird. The seven people on stage started to perform a dance act which was really cool but at the same time a bit confusing because the music didn’t stop playing but there was nobody at the instruments any more. Was it al fake? During the rest of the show they only used the instruments and microphones ones or twice.
The show went from a regular concert to an artistic dance performance including a great light-show. At that part some people walked away from the concert, they came here for a live performance, not a playbackshow. But what will you expect from The Knife? They always have been different than other electronic bands. Their music is different, they have a very strong opinion about political stuff and feminism and they don’t like to do concerts (before this tour they hadn’t played live for six years). I thought it actually really fitted The Knife and I really liked it. I’m a big fan of bands that try something new and combine different artistic disciplines (like iamamiwhoami) and this was really a different approach to a ‘concert’.
I liked it. I thought it was a fresh approach and it didn’t get boring at any time. The weird instruments, dances, glitter, weird screen with a person projected on it and the amazing lights really drew the audience attention. I was standing almost at the front and from that point of view it became more of an experience than a concert. The coloured lights that were surrounding us, the dancers on the stage send out energy, the crowd that was dancing along.. It all became a whole, we were part of the weird performance of The Knife.
If you’re interested to know more about The Knife, Shaking the Habitual and the show, read this interview on 3voor12. .
I made some photos with my phone: