by Jeevin Johal
The Vogue Theatre
May 22, 2018
You’re born, you grow up, fall in love with a member of the opposite sex, get married, have 2.4 children, and the cycle continues, forging a family legacy whose lineage can be traced back generations and generations, by following the pathway of strong, male patriarchal surnames. Lather, Rinse, Repeat… right? Wrong. Sorry to burst your archaic bubble bud, but that ain’t how it goes anymore. Especially not for Karin Dreijer, one half of Swedish electronic supergroup The Knife, whose latest album Plunge, released under the Fever Ray moniker, sets out to shatter anachronistic beliefs that attempt to dictate how we should love, raise our families, and well… fuck.
Like the opening sequence of a head to head fighting game, Fever Ray’s band came out one by one, a heterogenous bunch, each dawning their own unique wardrobes and encompassing roles of characters that blur the lines of gender. Their mystical leader emerged last, with nightmarish makeup and an equally hellish smile, sporting a shirt that read, “I Love Swedish Girls.” Likely purchased at a tourist kiosk in her native homeland, Fever Ray gave the top her own custom augmentation, crossing out the word “Swedish,” defiling a statement that attempts to categorize female beauty into an ethnic hierarchy. A sentiment made even stronger by the diversity of her tribe.
During the set, Fever Ray bounced around between songs from both of her albums, sprucing up some of the live versions with a little bit of South American flare. Older tracks like “I’m Not Done,” and “When I Grow Up,” were played with an added vibrance, due heavily in part to Columbian and Argentinian percussionists, Diva Cruz and Liliana Zivala, filling in the sparseness that exists in the recorded versions.
The only space where Fever Ray herself may have been lacking, was in the sweet dance moves department. But this is entirely forgivable considering she had to share the stage with her muscle flexing backup singer Helena Gutarra, whose bodybuilding physique, and ass shaking rhythms stole the show. But even she couldn’t match the ferocity of her mythical Queen’s fiery vocals. A truly entertaining, femdom, carnival of delights.