Clothes were stripped, punches were thrown, and giant inflatable penises were inflated. What did you expect? It’s a Die Antwoord show.
Last night, spectators packed Irving Plaza to witness the insane, full-on freakiness of the Cape Town zef/rap duo. The group pulled in a surprisingly diverse crowd, ranging all the way from early teens to late seventies. We ran into supermodel Cara Delevingne, as well as Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, who were just some of the VIPs who came to see the show. Mainly though, it was the diehard fans; girls just a few buzzes short of a Yolandi haircut bouncing around in punky, nymphet clothing, and heavily-tattooed roughnecks already picking fights and looking for ways to F*** Ya Rules.
The crowd was rapidly pounding down drinks beforehand, enjoying the specialty cocktail menu based the group’s hits:
Fat Baby Boom Boom
Vodka, Strawberry Puree, and Lime Juice – $11
Baby’s on Fire
Cuervo Gold, Pineapple Juice, and Sour – $12
Double Whiskey and Coke – $14
As everyone started gearing up for the madness, it was clear that much of the talk was about Yolandi Vi$$er, the buzzed-blonde rapper known for her shrill vocals and little-girl edge. “I like them because they’re different.” said Christopher, 44. “No, he just likes Yolandi!” his friends cut in teasingly.
Jan, 29, told us he’s a little put off by her. “The girl freaks me out, big time! Because she’s acting in a very sexual way, but she looks like a child, and that kind of freaks me out.”
“I would marry her tomorrow,” said Alexander, 25, who flew all the way from Australia just to see her perform.
As the lights dimmed, Die Antwoord started raising the tension with an extremely delayed opening. The crowd desperately tried to count down their entrance a few times, hoping they would appear. They were unsuccessful, of course. You can’t f*** with Die Antwoord. Eventually, a haunting image appeared on the screen. It was a massive, distorted face that you just couldn’t look away from, which blinked and sniffled at you over demonic-sounding chants. Finally, the pair took the stage, and from that point on it was total mayhem.
Between Ninja’s ferocious rapping, Yolandi’s squeals cut through the air like knives. The masked dancers kept the adrenaline wickedly high, and the music was so loud, I could actually feel my teeth chattering. The crowd was addicted. The energy even turned violent, with fistfights breaking out right around me.
Almost right after I had taken an elbow in the jaw, a photographer onstage took a punch from Ninja himself. The rapper also shocked us when he grabbed a fan’s glasses and broke them in half, and shoved a girl’s phone down his pants. Throughout the entire show, he seemed to be just inches away from exposing himself (no pun intended), and he stripped down to his boxers to present “Raging Zef Boner.” Throughout the song, an inflatable man holding a giant penis was erected (no pun intended, I swear) behind him. The fans enjoyed every second of it with vicious devotion.
If you think you’re freaky, you can catch their next show tonight at Terminal 5, and check out our exclusive photos at our Encyclopedia of Music below. Last night’s super-charged setlist included:
DJ Hi-Tek Rulez
Fok Julle Naaiers
Wat Kyk Jy?
Rat Trap 666
Fatty Boom Boom
Girl I Want 2 Eat U
Raging Zef Boner
Rich Bitch (Short)
I Don’t Dwank (Acappella)
Fok of Fok Jou
Baby’s on Fire
Happy Go Sucky F***y
Never Le Nkemise
Encore: Enter the Ninja
I got a chance to speak with Ninja after the show. Our brief meeting consisted of him leaning in to whisper, “how do I smell?” and pulling an entire bottle of champagne out of his pants to give to us. Like I said, it’s a Die Antwoord show.