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Here’s What Happens at the Knife’s Bonkers Live Show

"Danceoke" was only the beginning

picture-18576-1373300776Marc Hogan // April 29, 2013

The Knife launched their tour on Friday night, and the two concerts the electro-pop adventurers have performed so far are shaping up to be as unconventional as billed. The Knife’s Karin Dreijer-Andersson previously told SPIN the duo’s gigs would be “fun” and “show some humor.” Then the group issued a wonderfully over-the-top announcement promising “the communal/political/conceptual/imaginational workout experience you always wanted but never could embarrass yourself enough to find or do in public.”

Evidence of what that means is starting to trickle in from Europe. The Knife’s first show of the tour was Friday night at Bremen, Germany’s Pier 2, and their second show came on Saturday at Hamburg, Germany’s Docks. Above, while it lasts, you can watch fan footage showing the full Hamburg performance of Shaking the Habitual’s “A Tooth for an Eye”; there’s no clear view of Dreijer-Andersson or her brother Olof Dreijer, but there looks to be plenty of communal/political/conceptual/imaginational aerobics. It’s quite a spectacle, in keeping with not only the Knife’s previous high-concept touring, but also the concert-deconstructing concerts by fellow Swedish provocateurs such as the Tough Alliance, who used to swing baseball bats onstage while a recording of their music played over the sound system.

A shorter, darker clip from the Knife’s tour kickoff in Bremen is below. The song is the title track from 2006’s Silent Shout, and what appears to be Dreijer-Andersson holding a microphone. Once again, the results are weirdly riveting.

Consequence of Sound also points to a pair of attendee reviews on that capture the divisive nature of the performance. One person wrote at length about how the show was “awful” and “was absolutely intended to be.” Another wrote: “Personally i loved the show. I definately was NOT a ‘concert’, but mostly a ‘representation’ on stage, but that’s what was advertised.” The habitual is being shaken.