After winning over numerous members of the British public at Reading and Leeds last year, Die Antwoord took to the stage at Manchester’s Albert Hall on the 16th of January. As fans entered the room it was fairly odd to find the group in a venue that completely contrasted their nature. The Albert Hall’s interior parallels that of a church or other religious piece of architecture, however this only added to the groups unique style.
The sold out night was accurately opened with a one hour DJ set, awakening the room as fans got into the mood for Die Antwoord’s antics. At nine o’clock the crowd was greeted with the regular introduction from DJ Hi-Tek, the group’s appropriately named DJ. His signature song “DJ Hi-Tek Rulez” has opened up the majority of their performances and sent a wave of energy out into the room. This led to the extremely rowdy start to the night with fans fighting and bustling to get closer to the front of the room.
In the audience you could see the true impact that the group had on their fans. I was merely two rows in front of the stage, yet could see numerous Yolandi-style haircuts and many people with the band’s signs and hand-drawn symbols scrawled upon their bodies.
Fans seemed more than happy with the setlist they received from the band featuring many well known tracks such as “Fok Julle Naaiers,” “Wat Kyk Jy,” and “Baby’s On Fire.” Fans who had previously attended last years Reading and Leeds Festival were particularly joyous over the performance of the popular song “Cookie Thumper,” which was missing on the setlist at the festival. Although fans know only too well that the group’s performance isn’t only about the songs. We were welcomed by multiple costume changes, from the signature tracksuits to Ninja’s pitbull mask. At multiple points in the night the African rapper, Ninja, gestured for the crowd to move forward so that he could stage dive, causing hugely chaotic scenes in the crowd with people anxious to touch him. There was a significant cheer as Yolandi, the band’s little-girl-rapper, took to DJ Hi-Tek’s platform along with one of the band dancers to give a very unique performance of “Fatty Boom Boom.” Consequently, Ninja’s solo piece “Acapella” was also greeted well by the crowd.
Die Antwoord are continuing their current tour through Europe before arriving it America in March. It has also been made apparent through the group’s social media that fans can opt for a VIP package for $250, which entitles fans to: get in without having to queue, early entry, meet Ninja and Yolandi after the show for pictures, and receive a free shirt from the group’s current merchandise. There are only 20 VIP tickets per show.