Sunday, October 4, 2009

Birthdays and Fever Rays

I did a bit of birthday binging Friday. I'll be sure and put all embarrassing photos and videos on here when I get them. I was clearly in no shape to run equipment of any kind, so I left camera duties to others.

Drinking started for me at 3pm and apparently ended around 11. I say "apparently," because my strict adherence to the Don't Turn Down Free Shots policy directly contributed to a lengthy black-out period. Yes, much of my night remains shrouded in personal mystery, beginning with my last true memory of being escorted out of Bar Louie by the staff (undeserved I say) and ending with my coming-to on a couch at 6:45 AM with what felt like a rabid ferret trying to break out of my skull. I killed him with half a bottle of ibuprofen and some apple juice.

I also somehow found myself with a giant mug of Blue Moon in my hand at noon on Saturday. Basically, my birthday was full of win.

Saturday night was possibly more amazing, however. That Fever Ray show I was geeking out over a post ago? Yeah, expectations were way fucking exceeded. From that first otherworldly, throbbing loop from "If I Had a Heart" that kicked off the show to the final beat of "Coconut" which closed it, I was completely riveted. This was pure performance art. One long piece, meticulously structured, and expertly performed. Everything about the spectacle was meant to displace the audience from the comfort of reality. The place was engulfed in fog for most of the show. The band members on stage were all spectres and silhouettes; costumed golems swaying and incanting, draped over instruments and electronics. Sickly yellow, antique lampshades pulsed with the ebbs and flows of every creepy measure.

And the laser lighting... oh god, the laser lighting. I didn't know light could do the things I saw that night. Points and beams turned into sheets and waves criss-crossing the entire auditorium. Seeing the fog rolling through the artificial ceiling of light made you feel at one instant like you were submerged in water, and the next as if you could reach out and touch the clouds. There were several moments in which I was inclined to attempt to capture what I was seeing on camera, but there was just something so perfect about being a real part of the experience that a shitty iPhone camera could only misrepresent. It would be like trying to recreate Michelangelo's La Pieta with a handful of Legos. However, her excellent music video for "Triangle Walks" showcases a lot of the stage theatrics quite well:

What almost gets overshadowed a bit is the music, but that's only due to the utter uniqueness of the performance itself. The music was dark and brooding and massive and claustrophobic and cavernous and oppressive. It translated beautifully from the record to the stage, and I could imagine no better visual accompaniment than what was performed. The whole thing was just perfect. And I risk no hyperbole in making that statement.

I'm spent. G'night.

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