** If you are a stan for The Knife, please preserve the integrity of your blood pressure by clicking away now. **
I’m not really a huge fan of The Knife. “Heartbeats” is a cool song, I guess. Yeah, I’m one of THOSE fans, the kind that only likes this band’s one hit single from like 2005 or whatever. Knife fans, I told y’all to click away, but if you’re still here, let the waves of your resentment towards my basic-bitchness crash through you. You are a rock that stands alone in a heaving sea of fake The Knife fans. Feel your feelings. If all else fails, eat your feelings.
Is The Knife even a band though? Or are they a dance troupe formed of Cirque du Soleil rejects? More on that later.
Good thing I was drunk when the opening act came out, because it was this dude in a fishnet banana hammock who will heretofore be referred to as “Jane Fonda” after he pranced onstage and said, “Are you ready to do AEROBICS?” and then immediately launched into a diatribe on the ballsacks of the men in the crowd. This was highly uncomfortable because I attended this show with a man, and I really don’t want to think about his balls. Seriously, I do not! And not only that, but Jane Fonda kept being like, “Bounce that ballsack. Ladies, bounce those tits. Now touch the person next to you.” So he’s all trying to rub up on me, and I’m like, “I’m emotionally unavailable,” and he says, “So?” and I kind of shrug, like good point, but then I’m like, NO, wait a second! “THE BODY SAYS NO.”
Okay, enough about my interpersonal drama. The Knife come out. All twelve of them. They’re a grab bag of men and women all clad in the same jewel-toned jumpsuit. “We are beyond gender,” these outfits are supposed to say. I’m pretty sick of all this faux-politically-correct Tumblr shit, but I don’t want to be that asshole who’s raining on the parade of every college’s freshman gender studies class, so whatever. Every person in this “band” looks like that Florence and the Machine chick. Every one of them! That’s pretty much the only thing that’s impressing me at this point.
Music starts playing, and right away I see that Florence and the Machine Person #3 is merely pretending to play the drums. I’m real suspicious-like. Of the twelve Florence and the Machine People, only one or two appears to be ACTUALLY playing an instrument. Are we supposed to notice this? I can’t tell. Everyone around me is dancing like a fucking freak sacrificing their firstborn to the blood moon. Jane Fonda got us REAL turnt up apparently. But what is this shit, “The Knife (DJ Set)”????????? <—not enough question marks in the world for this question.
They start playing “Full of Fire,” that clappy-hands song. God, if there’s one thing in this world that I cannot stand, it’s songs with clap-tracks (I’m looking at you, “Sound of Settling”). So you know it’s a bad show when I’m like, “Well, at least they’re not faking the clap sounds…” And the Karin Florence and the Machine Person must have been actually singing, because she sounded goddamn horrible. (To be fair, “What’s your story? That’s my opinion” is a great lyric. Great! Now back to our regularly scheduled negativity.)
At this point, The Knife (DJ Set) gave up all illusions of live music. They put on a backing track, vocals and all, and started performing subpar dance routines. Oh my God, I thought, I’m at a taping of America’s Got Talent. Seriously, it was so amateur that I kept waiting for Nick Cannon’s stupid grin to float above me like some mocking Cheshire Cat. If you’re gonna trick your audience into thinking they’re attending a concert, a concert with LIVE MUSIC, when it’s actually more like a high school dance recital, can you at least hire some professional dancers or dance to some music I actually want to hear?
So they prance around to a backing track for another hour, and I’m not going to describe that because I’d rather talk about ANYTHING else (Why are women’s sneakers so ugly? How could MLB introduce a rule that incentivizes players to drop the ball? How’s the weather in San Franci- OH IT’S FOGGY THANKS).
“Don’t go away,” Florence and Machine Person #11 tells the crowd as the dance troupe winds down. “You’re gonna want to stick around.”
Falser words have never been spoken. The curtain rises, it’s like 10:30, the backing track is still playing and the lights are still low. We all assume they’re having an intermission so they can change into new gender-bending costumes. My limbs start to get heavy. Half the crowd has left, and the other half is still dancing like they’re being exorcised. I don’t know what to do. It’s only 10:30, and I don’t really want to dance with this dude. He’s trying though. Bless his heart, he’s trying. And I keep hoping we might see some people play actual instruments. But no. Even the stage managers seem to be confused. The house lights come on, then go off again, then back on.
The intermission was not actually an intermission at all. The show was over. No encore. No actual music-playing. Just a bunch of androgynous Swedes who wanted an excuse to wear silk pantsuits. Someone air-DJed, for fuck’s sake! Who does that? Do I sound mad? Well, I guess I’m a little pissed.
The Knife (DJ Set) did not play “Heartbeats.” And don’t tell me I didn’t “get it” just because I don’t pray to an altar of minimalist Scandinavian occult-figurines every night. I fucking GOT IT, okay? Not everything is art.