I've been delaying writing about The Knocks show in January mostly because it was awful and I'd like to forget it ever happened. But it was really through no fault of The Knocks, who I still love, so here we go.
I first saw The Knocks on the Weezer Cruise. Their dance music was fantastic and had a great rock sensibility -- from the samples they would use to the live instruments they would play along with their tracks. So when I saw that they were coming through DC, I put the call out to my friends -- you've got to come see this awesome band from the Weezer Cruise. It will be a fun dance party at the 9:30 Club.
The first sing of trouble was how bizarre the rest of the lineup was. I didn't have time to properly investigate the opening acts. I figured they would be dance-y, like The Knocks. Wrong.
I arrived during angry female rapper K-Flay's last song. It did not leave me sad for having missed the rest of her set. The next band, Blondfire, was a 180 degree turn. They were pop rock with the most obnoxiously happy lead singer I've ever seen. The lyrics sounded like they were written by a 5-year old child. "This song is called 'Waves' -- It's about the ups and downs of life...[pause]...as they relate to the Ocean." [smacks head] The lyrics went on to be one of the more ridiculous things I've ever heard performed. And, as I've mentioned before, I've seen a band of preteens perform a song "inspired by the Wizard of Oz" with the repeating lyrics "there's nooooooooooooo place like home," so I don't say stuff like that lightly. There was also a song about kites and, I believe, one that mentioned hide and seek.
At this point the show was so bad it was actually kind of good. My spirits would be crushed completely about 10 minutes later when the club filled up with sloppy drunk teenagers. The Weezer Cruise, it turns out, gave me a warped perspective on who The Knocks' fan base is. There are always some obnoxious, sloppy drunk people at concerts. I have a high tolerance for such people. Hey, I've been there myself. But I've never been at a concert in which 95% of the crowd is the equivalent of "that guy." It was very bizarre. The crowd had achieved a critical mass of obnoxious people such that it was the normal, acceptable behavior. Such people, for reference, have no sense of personal space. I couldn't dance when The Knocks started because I couldn't move by arms (or anything else) because I was pinned in from all directions by drunk people leaning on me. A few of them were soaking wet. One was very sticky. It's difficult to describe just how unpleasant all of this was. We kept trying to move back to get more space until we eventually hit the back wall and shimmied over to the corner. That's were we found the other 4 people there who were in their mid to late 20s. They were equally horrified by the crowd. One asked, "What the hell just happened?" Not sure, new friend. Not sure. But I couldn't get out of their more quickly.
BYT review and pictures here. They had a better time than I did.