Concert Reviews

How the Knife is changing the definition of a rock-and-roll show by removing ego

Before the Knife's show proper got started, a guy who was dressed like a particularly garish Russell Brand got the crowd warmed up with some calisthenics. You know, the sort of thing that's done en masse in Japan and China.

It was part impromptu dance-class primer and part yoga class, with just a hint of square dancing. The commands were delivered with a friendly dose of social coercion while the instructor prepped the audience for the show to come. It was what the guy called "deep aerobics." He also called it "death electric emo party aerobics." He did get most of the crowd to shout especially well-thought-out slogans, like, "I feel so alive I'm not afraid to die"; "Self-consciousness is the illusion that this is only happening to me"; and, in the end, "I move to be moved." This surreal introduction set the perfect stage for what the Knife did next.

See also: The Knife at the Fillmore

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.