Speaking of Die Antwoord, I caught their show at the Phoenix last night, and, well, the love affair continues. I can’t get enough of these weirdos! Apparently I am not alone; the show was Sold Out, and since we’d neglected to buy tickets, guess who stood out in the rain for an hour rustlin’ up a pair? This girl. It just goes to show how important it is to plan these things out beforehand. I also forgot my earplugs, but a really nice guy who works at the Phoenix managed to find some for me (thank you Paul!) It was one of several warm and friendly human connections we made that evening. We also witnessed plenty of rudeness and passive-aggressive snarking, which seem to be common at shows in Toronto.
In fact, I’ve been thinking about the concept of “show ettiquette” a lot lately … does it even exist? Seldom are we Torontonians forced into such close quarters with our fellow humans, and when we are, the results can be volatile. It’s like the subway at rush hour, but with some serious emotion involved: “You think you love this band? I love this band!” Add some alcohol and drugs, and you’ve got a human soup that may bubble over in all kinds of ways. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the subject, dear readers …..
Anyways, Die Antwoord. Which is Afrikaans for “The Answer.” I’m not at all sure what the question is. But if I had to guess I’d say it’s, “Where can I find some avant-garde South African hip-hop/performance art that’s flashy, trashy, and funny, featuring a male singer who has been wearing the same pair of boxer shorts for years, and a female singer with a really intense mullet?”
Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er are backed by DJ Hi-Tek. Not Talib’s guy; he’s a South African DJ who has for some reason chosen to go by the same moniker. Regardless, he spun some fat tracks, went shirtless, got sweaty, and in all other ways held it down. Ninja is a great stage personality …. ugly-cute and charismatic, he interacted with fans in the front row, crowdsurfed like a pro, and even paused during a verse to break up some animosity in the pit. However compelling Ninja was, though, I spent very little time actually watching him since it was so difficult to drag my eyes away from Miss Vi$$er. “Pixie” doesn’t even begin to describe her tininess, her cuteness, and her fierceness. She spat verses in a cartoonishly squeaky voice. And when she rolled out all of her R’s in “Rich Bitch,” making it sound more like “Rrrreeach Beach,” I practically barfed a rainbow.
As well as being bandmates, Ninja and Yo-Landi are real-life husband and wife, and the love really showed on stage. Each acted as the other’s hype man, and they danced in unison while wearing matching oversized sweatsuits. They kept the energy high throughout a set that went by all too quickly.
I loved every minute of the show … Die Antwoord sound much better live than on any recording I’ve heard, which is always a good sign. There was an incredible energy in the room. More than anything I enjoyed the confluence of talent, humour, and oddness. I could spend hours pulling back the onion skin layers of reality-vs-art-vs-artifice, but I’m having too much fun with Die Antwoord to care.
In the comments for this vid: “Someone can explain this…. ? Please”