Fever Ray

Fever Ray at the Henry Fonda Theater, Hollywood, CA, October 7th, 2009,

Oct 20, 2009
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Some people go to horror movies. Me? I much prefer the ghostly music of Fever Ray (aka Karin Dreijer Andersson). Although, I'd be lying if I didn't admit by the time the curtain rose on the sold-out show, my heart wasn't pounding as hard as any virginal teen being chased by a chain-saw-wielding maniac. Having already passed into electro-Goth infamy with her band The Knife's artfully executed stage show, I suspect that might have been just the response Andersson was going for.

Fever Ray may ultimately be the expression of a solo artist, but it's become so much morea fact driven home by the elaborate stage design by Andreas Nilsson. Fringe-adorned lamps blinked ominously to the beat-heavy music. Clumps of incense burned at the front of the stageits sweetness wafting over the audience. Fog machines were cranked up to 11; by set's end the entire theater would be covered. A perfect show for those who prefer their music with a splash of the dramatic, but not recommended for fog machine related allergy sufferers.

The five-person band proceeded onto the stage to the opening chants of "If I Had a Heart." Andersson, appearing last, was hidden under a mountain of furs. Even after she cast off her "coat of one color," most audience members would still be hard pressed to describe what the first lady of Fever Ray looked likeas Andersson spent the majority of the set obscured by rolling fog and heavy stage make up that made her appear more like Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman's idea of "Death" than human.

Despite never speaking, Andersson demonstrated more audience awareness than many talkative performers. Her stage personapart dark sorceress, part little girl lostperfectly conveyed her self-titled album's magical mix of the banal and mysterious. Even sandwiched between equally costumed band members and competing with an impressive green-hued laser show, there was never any question who was in control. Moving only between her keyboard and voice-altering microphone, emoting only with her handswhich continually swayed in spell-casting circlesAndersson's cool confidence made it difficult to look away.

While Fever Ray is a project that hinges on the dramatic-as demonstrated by show high points "Triangle Walks" and audience favorite "If I Had a Heart," it is also a project born of Andersson's post-natal exhaustion. For the penultimate song, the mother of two stepped to the front of the stage, andin moment a near-vulnerabilitysang a song reflecting on how much her children meant to her.

However, moment over, Andersson donned her mountain of furs and receded into the shadows. The band launched into the ghostly clatter of "Coconut." Slowly, one by one, they reversed their opening procession, back into the smoke and strobing lights. By song's end, the audience was left alone to stare in slack-jawed wonder at fog swirling around an empty stage.









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October 31st 2009

I have an appointment with an Allergist in a few days to try to get a handle on my crazy allergies. I never realized how bad they could actually be since I had to stop taking medication for them so the doctor could do testing on Monday. I don’t want to gross anyone out, but I feel like I’m drowning from all the post nasal drainage

February 9th 2010

I’d say she’s a soprano if I had to pick one (but a mezzo)—sounds like she can’t really dip down to the lowest notes in “Seven.” But I also think her vocal style tends to make things sound higher and more strained than they actually are, so maybe she’s psyching me out.

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February 25th 2010

A perfect show for those who prefer their music with a splash of the dramatic, but not recommended for fog machine related allergy sufferers.