Posted in dance | music | pictures on May 1, 2014

photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis

The Knife @ T5 4/30/2012
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The Knife

"Welcome to SHAKING THE HABITUAL!" someone exclaimed during "Wrap Your Arms Around Me," the opening number at The Knife performance at Terminal 5 last night (4/30), their first of two at the venue on their current tour. Was this a concert or a musical revue? The correct answer is probably "both." There were 11 people on stage, all dressed in aqua-colored jumpsuits. Some of them played instruments, like this enormous string instrument/drum thing that was set up in the middle of the stage. There was also an electronic oboe being played at times. Some of them sang -- Karin was not always lead vocalist, and I bet some watching weren't even sure which one she was. All of them danced. And we're talking a show that was as choreographed a production as A Chorus Line, though I kept thinking of cult musical The Apple.

On the Knife's last tour in 2006 for Silent Shout, they spent most of the show behind translucent projection screens and you couldn't really tell if they were playing anything. (It was a cool show nonetheless.) They make electronic records that don't really translate to straight-up live performance. For this Shaking the Habitual tour, they are performing their asses off and it was an awesome spectacle -- including a "deep aerobics" warm up and spoken word piece mid-set. Amidst all this if you're hung up on whether the music is actually being played live, you're at the wrong show.

For those wondering: set was mostly the new album with three songs from Silent Shout ("We Share Our Mother's Health," "One Hit," and a techno'd out version of the title track to close the show), and one song each from Deep Cuts ("Pass This On" [no "Heartbeats" sorry]) and their eponymous debut ("Bird"). Setlist and lots more pics are in this post.

Side note 1: We had posted that Light Asylum's Shannon Funchess was part of this tour, but I'd forgotten till I saw her on stage. She plays a major part in the production, pretty cool to see.

Side note 2: The weather last night couldn't have been more miserable, a point driven home on the looong walk from the subway to Terminal 5 (a place I generally avoid). I was soaked to the bone by the time I got there and not in the best mood as a result, but that all pretty much evaporated once the show started.

The Knife do Shaking the Habitual again tonight at Terminal 5 which is sold out. More pics from the first night below...

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SETLIST: THE KNIFE @ T5 4/30/2014
Wrap Your Arms Around Me
Raging Lung
We Share Our Mothers' Health
Bird
Without You My Life Would Be Boring
A Tooth for an Eye
One Hit
Full of Fire
Collective Body Possum (Poem)
Ready to Lose
Pass This On
Stay Out Here
Silent Shout

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Tags: The Knife

Comments (47)

One Hit is also from Silent Shout

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 10:31 AM

what time did they go on?

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 10:33 AM

oh yeah...fixed.

Posted by bill p | May 1, 2014 10:34 AM

I don't think it's fair to say "if you're hung up on whether the music is actually being played live, you're at the wrong show".

That's pretty presumptuous of the intended audience for this music - and what do you think the point is of all the pantomime if NOT to create that illusion/wonder?

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 10:37 AM

@ 10:33, they went on shortly after 9.

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 10:38 AM

I think around 9pm? I also heard the line to get in was miserable. Get there early.

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 10:39 AM

People actually went for a choreographed pre-recorded show?

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 10:41 AM

If you watch the Silent Shout Audio/Visual experience DVD it's pretty clear that most of their last tour was pre-recorded (or at least played off stage).

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 10:45 AM

yeah its amazing how no one really noticed that/complained about that during the Silent Shout tour. The whole affair seemed so much more lo-fi in a Crystal Castles way that not a person complained.

Now, with THIS spectacle, it's interesting to see people take not and seem unhappier about it.

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 10:48 AM

Hammer time.

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 10:49 AM

I was there last night and it was terrible. I know going in to any electronic show it's going to be pre-recorded but this "performance" was absolutely awful. If you like The Knife do yourself and skip it. You will no longer be a fan after witnessing this debacle.

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 10:51 AM

The Knife went on around 9:20pm.

The aerobic warm-up people were SUPER annoying.

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 10:56 AM

The fact that it this act is the scarf-Fork flavor-of-the-month and it was sold out with those kinds of people, should've been enough to make you steer clear.

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 11:00 AM

^You mean the knife went on at 9:20 sharp! I thought they were on point. I sabre the show and the lights. My friend took a stab not knowing anything about them and enjoyed the show. I like the new cuts they played. I sword off terminal 5 earlier but this show works here.

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 11:01 AM

I caught the Boston show.
The performance itself had it's moments, and was interesting at times. But overall, it was a disappointment for $45 a ticket.
If you're going to totally pre-record your set, that's fine, but don't poorly sell it to the audience. The few times they "played" instruments, they were missing all their cues. Making it VERY obvious and silly.

ps. The pre-show aerobics things was abysmal.

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 11:02 AM

jD Samson and bjork were both in the 2nd level VIP last night.

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 11:05 AM

Opener, if you want to call it that, went on at 9pm sharp. The Knife came on at around 9:20, give or take. They left the stage at around 10:40, 10:45. The line to get in was miserable, and the weather was worse.

The first four songs are mostly live and fun. After that it abandons the concert concept almost entirely and suffers as a result.

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 11:13 AM

I think that the last few songs in the show were the highlight, worth the stay

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 11:27 AM

This looks soooooo gay

Posted by eazy L | May 1, 2014 11:37 AM

Did anyone actually read their release on this tour when it was announced? To expect anything different would have been foolish.

And please, stay home next time so tickets are easier to get.

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 11:46 AM

This dull crass shit makes Fisherspooner circa-2005 look very forward thinking.

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 11:51 AM

Last nights show is an example of how horrible this venue is for live acts. When you buy a ticket to a show, you shouldn't have to worry about whether or not you will absolutely not be able to see the stage. And to think that having a TV placed in a spot where you can't see 90% of the stage instead of being able to see a decent portion of the stage compensates for listening to a show that heavily relies on visuals...

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 12:23 PM

Correction: Went on 9:25, got off 10:45.
But I wouldn't trust these times for tonight, kids. I think it was a rain delay until everyone got in. I also think the line moved slow due to the rain.

I was looking all around me at the vip, how did I miss Bjork? You sure she was there?

Posted by ME | May 1, 2014 12:29 PM

I can't find the text to Collective Body Possum anywhere! Lil help?

Posted by Body Possum | May 1, 2014 12:33 PM

I would not judge how good or bad a venue is by the quality of performance of a shitty act. It would be like judging the quality of a brand of hummus based on the Doritos Extreme Kickin' Chili you use to dip them with.

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 12:34 PM

First 25 min were pretty great. Than it turned into a faux broadway small town youth show at the local community center.
"High concept' my butt...

And btw, gay shmay. It was a very very very good looking crowd. The hottest crowd of the year so far. Cool looking pretty girls anywhere you looked. I got two numbers, Mark got one, was worth going just for that.

Also, the 2006 webster hall show was amazing. Period.

Posted by ME | May 1, 2014 12:36 PM

11:05 you were right! Apparently I've looked all around me but not next to me... She was right at the other side of the column I was leaning against. Isn't some of the costumes and movement concept actually been lifted of her last tour?

Posted by ME | May 1, 2014 12:57 PM

I liked it when they shook a dead animal in my face.

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 12:58 PM

This commenter who posts as ME is the biggest moron and liar on this thing.

I literally spew laughter at every nonsensical fable he spouts.

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 1:10 PM

Terrible, from the longish wait (past the 730 doors opening) to the even longer inside wait 750-9pm to the crap 80's outfits and the "DEEP" aerobics(death to emo electronic protest)and poorly choreographed songs to lipsyncd tunes and prerecorded instruments all tracked to the HORRENDOUS album-- the show was a 0/10. I figured myself to be a diehard knife fan, Deep Cuts is my all time favorite album of all time- this turned me into a hater. The few songs they DID from previous albums were mangled versions that did zero percent justice to what's on the album. If they're trying to eliminate their presence on the electronic music scene they're doing one hell of a fine job.

Posted by ANONRSS | May 1, 2014 1:15 PM

bjork was in lime green dress! hate the venue. loved the show.

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 1:38 PM

Bjork wore that same outfit to Jay-Z in January. She went nuts during "Full of Fire"! Loved It!!!

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 2:28 PM

Bit late to chime in here, but if you're a fan, you should definitely go. I don't think it's bad enough to make a fan not like them and think they wasted their money. Who knows when they'll play again as well. I enjoyed most of it, though some of it was really cheesy.

I don't think it was entirely pre-recorded. There were songs that obviously sounded straight off the album, when Karin was part of the performance instead of behind a mic, others where you could barely hear the vocals and everything sounded a bit off.

The warm-up didn't help. The goof balls were really into it, but I think it just annoyed the rest of us even more. Way too crowded for that.

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 7:57 PM

"The fact that it this act is the scarf-Fork flavor-of-the-month and it was sold out with those kinds of people, should've been enough to make you steer clear."

They're really well known and their heyday with the cool-kids was back in the mid 00s. The style of their performance for this tour would probably have been more favorably received if it was 2006, as opposed to now when the kids are into faux-woodsy-folk-indie-rock and dark, pacific northwest colors.

Posted by Anonymous | May 1, 2014 8:16 PM

Tonight's show was amazing! Crowd was into it. Had a ton of fun!

Posted by Anonymous | May 2, 2014 12:09 AM

$45 was cheap, I thought.

I went last night. It was enjoyable enough, but wasn't the greatest show ever. I didn't have a Pitchfork-sized boner or anything. It was fun, but it also started to wear a little thin as the night went on. I bailed after the poetry thing. It was a little too Zuccotti Park for my tastes.

And yeah, the warm-up idiots were THE WORST.

Was getting in tonight as much of a shit show as it was last night?? Did they still go on at 9:20? I still don't know what the deal was for last night's fiasco.

Posted by M | May 2, 2014 12:17 AM

You all have such cool opinions. Email me.

Posted by Anonymous | May 2, 2014 1:05 AM

Does your body want to play an instrument?

Posted by Anonymous | May 2, 2014 9:18 AM

I liked the warmups.
It was something new and you got to meet the people around you.
It helps to be standing next to drunk swedish girls.

Posted by Anonymous | May 2, 2014 9:51 AM

i thought it was a ton of fun

Posted by Anonymous | May 2, 2014 10:05 AM

I thought The Beatles Love show in Vegas blew this out of the water

Amateur hour for you dorks

Posted by Anonymous | May 2, 2014 10:13 AM

I was wondering who the wman wearing the green outfit in the VIP was.
Overall a very good show. Pre-recorded or not, the tracks sounded great liv, and people had fun

Posted by Anonymous | May 2, 2014 11:37 AM

City stuff. Cutest city ever.

Posted by Mr. Foot Fetish | May 2, 2014 12:17 PM

"helps to be standing next to drunk swedish girls."

Iow, standing next to (drunk) Swedish girls is great no matter what else is happening. I was around pushy bros/broettes, who also recorded half the show on their cell phones, and a few couples.

Posted by Anonymous | May 2, 2014 7:16 PM

'Broette' for websters dictionary addition 2014

Posted by Anonymous | May 4, 2014 12:38 AM

Smells like sharts.

Posted by Anonymous | May 8, 2014 3:04 PM

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