Going to the see The Knife days before they appeared on stage at Coachella had a few distinct advantages. Mainly, if for some reason they were terrible, I could be a harbinger, a warning to all those hopeful for a enlightened experience at the festival. If they were good, though, I could hold it over the heads of my friends like a complete and utter asshole. “Who’s got two thumbs and has seen The Knife as many times? THIS GUY.”
Well, the option would be available anyway.
Part of the hubbub and hype for this Swedish act is their history of being so reclusive. Shaking the Habitual is their third studio album and the first one they’ve toured extensively for in the States. Even the tour for their last record, Silent Shout, had only three stops in the US. Seeing The Knife twice in a week? Madness. And yet here I was, in the midst of revved up fans watching a stage filled with people. Wait. Why are there so many people?
See, while The Knife is technically a duo (Karen Andersson and Olof Dreijer), their live show was a production. Choreographed dancers stomped and flailed their way across the stage in pantomime to the music. Each choreographed performance told a small story, ranging from the stupid back and forth of relationships to domestic abuse. If you’ve listened to The Knife’s lyrics, this likely doesn’t surprise you as the group is clearly very socially conscious. Their live show does the same thing their music does by wrapping rather serious messages in sweet, dancey, electronic shells. Don’t get me wrong, though; this wasn’t some dry play. Every moment felt like a party.
I enjoyed Shaking the Habitual, but it’s not my favorite of The Knife’s albums. If you feel the same way, don’t worry over their live performance. They played a few songs from Silent Shout as well. My personal favorite was “One Hit.” The song is fantastic, but the choreography was especially entertaining.
So, to those in Indio this weekend, tonight you should go see The Knife. Their Coachella effort was every bit as engaging as their show at The Fox, but on a much larger stage. Take your friends who aren’t fans, too. After the initial five minutes of “WTF is happening?” they’ll fall into the groove.
For more info: