The Warfield Theater, San Francisco, CA
April 2, 2013
As this genre continues to grow larger and larger every day, I am continuously amazed at how much spectacle and awe a few lights, a guy behind a microphone and turntables, and a bunch of people dressed in crazy outfits while literally giving no fucks what anyone thinks of them, can bring me.
I had the pleasure of attending Knife Party's show at The Warfield Theater in San Francisco about a week ago. The Warfield has never been my favorite venue. Not because of the interior or the way it's set up. The floor is perfect; small enough that no matter where you go, you are close to the action on stage. My concern has always been the area. As one of my friends responded to me when I asked her to pick me up after the show: "Taylor and Turk?! That's literally the most dangerous corner in this entire city."
Most electronic shows begin much later and end much later than instrumental shows; very reminiscent of a nightclub atmosphere, but for an all-ages crowd. I got into the venue at about 8:30, the first opener was set to take the stage at about 9:00. There was a loop of dance music already playing, and attendees (dressed in what I still call the most creative and outrageous outfits I've ever seen) began to congregate to the floor in preparation for the night's festivities. (About the outfits though. Real talk. No radical parent could have predicted this. But it's almost like the new version of punk. So by all means, embrace it.)
The clock strikes 9. The music amplifies ten times louder. The lights shut down, and our opener, Gydyr takes the stage for the next hour and a half. All those people that were standing around are suddenly cheering and dancing. Gydyr's set was a bit long for my taste for an opener, but the set was decent. Apparently he was from San Francisco, so I found it awesome that local music was being represented at a show of this scale.
Gydyr's set finishes around 10:30. Suddenly, epic orchestral music fills the room. The set Gydyr was using at the front of the stage is wheeled off. The five-piece screen looking down on the entire crowd lights up. "SAN FRANCISCO! ARE YOU READY?" he shouts to the 3,000 cap sold out venue. Then...BAM. The music hits you. An explosion of sound unlike anything our world has ever heard in recent years fills you and rocks you to the core. Knife Party have arrived. And they are in control of the entire crowd.
KP's management was kind of enough to provide me with a ticket for a seating area, so I wouldn't have to sit in the crowd. But I can't help but dance to music like this and jump around with a billion other people. It's just too damn epic. So naturally, I was in the crowd for the majority of the show, taking little breaks in between to get away from all the sweat and heat (it gets gross. trust me). The show didn't wrap until well around 12:15, after performing three encore songs.
One thing I love about shows like this is the togetherness and unity of the crowd. Today's music scenes have become SO increasingly judgmental of others. "Oh you listen to this band? Oh fuck that band! Get out of here!" "Oh I don't talk to that kid because he listens to this screaming-emo, pop-punk band, I only listen to this kind of emo trip-hop rock/country hybrid, and I listened to it before it was cool!" and blah blah blah. Not saying that this kind of thing is absent from this genre (it's everywhere, you can't escape it), but this is a very "peace and love, we don't give a fuck what you think of us, we'll always accept you!" type of crowd. I love it. I witnessed it particularly at this show. I loved every second of it.
Knife Party, come back to San Francisco soon. You said we were better than the crowd in Vegas. We're holding you to it.
Knife Party will be releasing the much-anticipated “The Haunted House EP” everywhere on May 6th, 2013. Follow Knife Party on Twitter (@knifepartyinc) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/knifeparty) for all of the latest updates on the duo.