Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Live Shows: Fever Ray and Christeene, Roadrunner, Boston, MA 5/5/23

I'm not a huge one for electronic music. Sure, I had my techno phase in the late 90's along with everyone else, but it's a genre I'm typically lacking in these days. However, I've been trying to get out of my comfort zone a bit more lately, so when I had the chance to see Fever Ray and Christeene at Roadrunner last Friday, I made the trip into Boston to see what all the fuss was about.

Christeene was an experience to say the least. Christeene is a drag character of Paul Soileau, and a live show was a spectacle as much as it was a show. After the first song, Christeene declared that she was there to "put fire" up the crowd's "tight unstretched buttholes," and that just set the tone for the rest of the set. Christeene was accompanied by keyboard and sax, and the set was just pure anarchy. I was reminded of artists like Divine, GG Allin, Peaches, and Rammstein at different points, as Christeene stormed around the stage and removing an article of clothing between each song until she was wearing the bare minimum, and miming masturbation throughout the set. A song like "BEAUCOUP MOROCCO" has the chorus of "Beaucoup Morocco, Beaucoup Morocco, Beaucoup Morocco, fuck fuck fuck fuck" and "Fix My Dick," this was not subtle or tame. It was spectacular.

Fever Ray may have been the exact opposite of Christeene. Instead of loose anarchy and chaos, Fever Ray's set seemed much more carefully planned and choreographed. Each member of the band took the stage one by one (electronic drummer, keyboards, and two background singers) until Fever Ray entered last. Fever Ray and the singers had specific moves they did in unison during certain songs, and instead of an ongoing glorious trainwreck, it was a much more restrained affair. Very, very slowly, the music went from ultra laid back songs like "New Utensils" and "To the Moon and Back" to more energetic songs towards the end of the set. It went from the chill room at a rave to a full on dance party in the course of an hour. And the crowd was there for it. The audience was filled with people who are megafans of Fever Ray. This was far from a show for the curious as virtually everyone was singing along to every word as if it was a Taylor Swift concert. Fever Ray has very dedicated fans, and their enthusiasm was contagious. This easily could have been a night I stayed home, but my comfort zone wasn't as much fun as this.

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