Monday, March 1, 2010

The Answer?

Amid the hype and html hysteria surrounding Die Antwood, Ninja, Yolandi Visser and DJ Hi-Tek rode into town for a two-show performance at the Alexander Theatre in Braamfontein. I say "rode into" because that's exactly what they did - arriving and leaving the theatre in a white stretch limo. They may look like poor, common folk, but don't let that fool you.

Joburg loves @dieantwoord on TwitpicWalking into the venue, I realised we were on the stage part of the theatre, which was closed off from the seating area for the show, making for quite a crowded venue, heaving with anticipation. The sophisticated set up and cameras also caught my eye. The crowd was quite mixed: butch looking Afrikaans-speaking guys guzzling beer, gay men in tight t-shirts and jeans, pretty, manicured psuedo-kugels in mini-skirts. There were two fights before the show even started. And one guy, it seemed, had made his own blood-splattered t-shirt for the occasion.

When the threesome hip-hopped onto stage, the crowd went crazy, especially this girl in front of me, who was jumping up and down, her pigtails hitting me in the eye. "Awww, she's so cute!", she exclaimed to the person next to her, as Yolandi spat out her swear-word chorus to Wat Kyk Jy? The crowd relished shouting back in reply too. Two trendy guys jumped up onto the giant stage door, hanging by one arm, and using the other one to cheer the group on: "Aaeeayeaaa, I am your butterfly, I need your protection, be my Samurai..." A friend leaned over to me, grinning from ear to ear: "I love it!" he said. "A St Johns boy doing the common thing, acting like he's down-and-out, it's just so cool." A photographer friend didn't share the sentiment: "It's just too aggressive for me, so negative."

I'm still trying to make up my mind as to what Die Antwoord means musically. Ignoring the porn on the screens above the stage during one song, I watched Ninja - aka Waddy Jones - do what he's always done best: drop a rhyme like the lyrical master he has been since his days with The Original Evergreen. Despite the fact that I still don't feel comfortable singing along to the words 'poes' and 'naai', I do know that the group is up to something cool, crazy and unique. At the centre of it all is someone whose creativity I do not doubt because it has been expressed in many ways before - children's books, stuffed animals, poetry, and the group Max Normal. But sometimes that creativity hasn't lasted (RIP Max Normal, The Constructus Corporation, and MaxNormal.tv) so I hope Die Antwoord sticks around long enough for me to figure out just how I feel about them.

2 comments:

dori said...

I'm also undecided about them - I think they're amusing and creative... does that make them worthy of all the hype? What makes a band 'good' or 'talented'?

MattX said...

"Aaeeayeaaa, I am your butterfly, I need your protection, be my Samurai..."

love that part, i must say they grew on me