atm-fever ray stage

Having only listened to Fever Ray a few times and thinking it was pretty sub par at first, I was feeling a bit…eh, about going to Fever Ray last night. Even I knew that this was a show not to be missed, that the  mystical and ethereal creature that is Karin Dreijer Andersson surely could not disappoint in both a live show and a live performance. I slapped myself out of my temporary petty stupor, got myself a ticket, and found myself getting a bit giddy about going to a show that totally was going to make us trip like we was all up on that acid.

At the end, I looked at the time and saw they only played for 60 minutes. In normal circumstances, I’d be a bit angry. I mean, Telefon Tel Aviv was 60 minutes but was only 20$ and it was awesome. So, I let it slide. THIS was 30$, one hour, and I CREAMED MY PANTS. The sound in Métropolis was OK, my earplugs made it waaaay better. To be honest, I don’t even think Bell Centre could have handled that much bass. I feel so bad for everyone that didn’t have ear plugs because I’m sure the hair follicles will need at least a few weeks to recover from the nuclear war that was just ensued on our bodies. This show was amazing. The lighting, the costumes, and the music, the entire package was just incredible, fluid and created a certain ambiance, a certain atmosphere that I don’t think can be reproduced again. I couldn’t help but dance like I was in Zion. I couldn’t help but close my eyes just to absorb more in the dark, because my powers have been heightened here, the dark, the natural habitat of the Fever Ray.

Live in Show: Fever Ray
@ Métropolis; 01 10 09; POP MTL

I got there after work and a spliff to arrive just on time. I love when that happens. The room, being on of the bigger venues here in MTL, was completely filled with dense fog. Already, one had the allusion of walking into a forbidden forest. Eerie, cold, moist, and with always with company.

atm-fever ray

Immediately two green lasers highlight the span of the room as “If I Had A Heart” starts up. The band is barely visible except for their face paint and their strange costumes. The lasers keep blazing. I see this odd creature which resembled the outline of the aliens in The Fifth Element and knew it was Karin and her crazy self. She shakes her staff. She shakes her white gloved hands as if to say, “don’t you see?!”.

There were no other lights but the unfailing blinkering of Victorian lamps, the occasional lasers from above. For nearly the entire concert, as she went through “Seven”, “I’m Not Done”, “Triangle Walks” and nearly all her album tracks…the band was in complete mystery. Safely hidden in the smoke, behind their masks and instruments. And in a way, so were we. Invited we were, into this realm of paganism, tribalism, realism, the entity that is Fever Ray. They were the centre of the circle, and we just felt and listened. The performance complimented the music so well, what they’re trying to do in their music, what they’re trying to say, it was all represented in the minimalism, the consistency of using no strobe lights, just  lasers and ancient lamps lighting just enough to see their silhouettes and their enthusiasm.

Only one song, did this change. At once the laser show was over, the lamps got their plugs pulled. “When I Grow Up” lit the stage blue and green, lighting Karin’s face for the first time. White and painted with two concave lines, it was her and only her on stage until the song built up so much that the band had to creep out of hiding. Eventually, one of the bandmates was dousing us, baptisizing us metaphorically, with his cross staff. We were a part of this ritual, we are ridding ourselves of whatever it is when we grow up. And then, finally, a pause. The entire show was a series of fluid transitions, one into the other. For the first time in the show they paused long enough for us to cheer…a long enough time to determine it was gonna be their encore next.

They came on and then started “Coconut”. Holy. Shit. Now, the whole show was so fucking loud, so bass-y, that you might as well be at a My Bloody Valentine concert, thank GOD I had my ear plugs. But this last song, was so LOUD, so fucking strong, that I felt my ear plugs scraping for air, and literally popped OUT of my ears. My jeans rattled, I clutched my heart and gave a satisfying grunt thinking to myself, this is SO SICK. LOUDER AND LOUDER THE BASS WENT, IT WAS JUST THE BASS NOW, AND EVERYONE AROUND ME MOVED BACK, as if loud enough speakers COULD blow our clothes off. Our feet were inches away from where they were before and at one point I wondered when this mayhem was gonna stop. And finally all was silent. That was it.


GO SEE FEVER RAY if you have the chance. Ugh. One of the best concerts this year for sure. Damn these Scandinavians for being so awesome. Mmmm. Witchcraft.

P.S. I heard rock royalty Win Butler from Arcade Fire was there. Hmm I think I saw him! JAJAJA je blague. Pas.

MP3: Fever Ray – Now’s The Only Time I Know