The Knife - Webster Hall (late show)
More like theater than pop, The Knife took the stage on time. They were dressed, brother and sister, in their Monkey King suits which could be called "famous" if 11 shows played in seven years of music-making does make any kind of performance fame. There were screens in front and behind them, projects passing through the first and to the back but often forming a double-light that trapped the two between. Olof stood left and played what looked like "hitstix" while Karin, right, sang more often on key than anyone this side of the Celine Dion-divide, prompting those who care to wonder where there was a there there or were we merely being "entertained." No matter, we were clearly even if both confined their gestures to forward and mic-oriented. Karin's face was painted surprised and a bit terrified, her arms often like vampire bat wings in little v-locks, moving in time. Unlike this earlier video-dancing for "You Take My Breath Away," Karin's costume amplified her awkwardness and channeled it as high weirdness, like amateur expressionist choreography. The crowd, packed and paying up to 3x face-value last minute on Craiglist, ooh'ed at every subbass rumble or pad-flush as if it were a revelation. Upstairs, Philip S (the evening's DJ - congrats!) must have been thrilled. It was beyond prog, Genesis for the post-electronic generation, the weird space where the underground meets the BAM Next Wave Festival circuit, and crosses silently over. As for the music? Listen to the CD, but as loud as possible and in stereo surround, while imagining overwhelming amounts of Nordic-expat hairgel, sweating bodies, day-old Halloween decorations wilting in the heat and the general buzz of feeling like you're in just the right place at the right moment. If this sounds like heaven, then it was.