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There was a lot to be expected from Fever Ray's show at Henry Fonda Theater last night, particularly for those of us who had seen Karin Dreijer Andersson's other project, The Knife play at El Rey Theatre a few years ago. Back then, Andersson and her brother performed behind a scrim while donning masks and now, as Fever Ray, she still delivers as much mystery and drama as one would expect from the Swedish performer.
The show opened with green laser beams cutting through layers of smoke. Across the stage were lamps whose orange glow pulsated to the beat of the music throughout a good chunk of the set.
Andersson performed the first three songs of the set while covered in an elaborate shroud. What's noteworthy is that concerts typically only permit professional photography during those first three songs, and, from what we heard, this was no different. It was an interesting way to maintain an aura of mystery surrounding the singer.
Detailed shots like this reveal parts of the performance that remained hidden from a lot of the audience. The floor of the theater was packed solid. With a combination of thick smoke, intense lasers, iPhones raised up high in the air and glow sticks (which seemed a bit unnecessary given the light show), Andersson and her bandmates appeared as shadows for the bulk of the set.
Fever Ray's concert was no last minute sell-out. Outside of the venue, scalpers stood in the middle of the street to flag down people for tickets. Inside, people talked about how they had purchased pairs months ago or came across them on Craigslist. This wasn't a show so much as it was an event. The bulk of the crowd had arrived by 9 p.m., although Fever Ray didn't hit the stage until around 11. Many looked as though they had spent a good deal of time dressing for the night, with a cross-section of goth, tribal and rave looks peppering the fan base. This was clearly a momentous occasion.