Swedish synthpop project Fever Ray played at the Anthem on May 1 but were somewhat cheated by a co-headlining gig. They perform to create an entire new world with sound and atmosphere. It’s almost alien, but welcoming to those willing to immerse themselves in the experience.
Not everyone was there for the serene, otherworldly music of Fever Ray. Unfortunately, a good portion of the audience were there just for 100 gecs, the other band on the bill, and they only wanted to party. They missed out on some truly beautiful music.
At The Anthem, Fever Ray frontperson Karin Dreijer was both stoic and explosive. They were captivating in all their androgynous glory. The slow choreography felt intensely deliberate as every inch of their body and their backup singers bodies synched up. Over-exaggerated makeup emphasized the otherworldly quality of the performance. It was sensual, weird, and enthralling.
The music itself is full of subtlety and complexity, while the lyrics were nearly confrontational in their directness.
The set slowly built in intensity, culminating with conjuring up the old gods for “If I Had a Heart” (theme song from TV show Vikings.) Dreijer and backing singers then donned hooded black cloaks for the final song to let the audience know they had been part of a beautiful ritual.
Watch the official music video for “If I Had a Heart” by Fever Ray on YouTube:
Fever Ray tour in support of a new album, Radical Romantics, Karin’s third record under the Fever Ray banner. It was released in March via Mute Records.
Stream Radical Romantics by Fever Ray on Spotify:
Here are some photos of Fever Ray performing at The Anthem in DC on May 1. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Katherine Gaines.