Die Antwoord – a high energy performance
Saturday 5 June was all about experiencing new things. A good friend has come back to South Africa from his lecturing job in Spain not to visit his wonderful friends but to enjoy the World Cup in his home town, Cape Town. He is always up for a bit of an adventure and suggesting new things so when the call for “who wants tickets to Die Antwoord” came I put my hand up although not quite sure of what I’d agreed to.
All I knew of Die Antwoord was that they were a South African band who had become and overnight sensation and I had heard one of their songs, something about a butterfly, a samurai and needing your production (turns out production is actually protection, just so you know). I however handed over my R100 and was ready for anything …
We kicked off the afternoon with the SA / Wales game and had decided that since another friend lived within walking distance of the 3 Arts Theatre, the venue for the show, we should make a day of this and try out the pub just down the road. Interesting choice to say the least, walking up the road to Vadi’s on Diep River Main Road someone commented that he hoped that they’d be screening the rugby and not only the footie (Bafana was playing Denmark and won might I add). I laughed at this and thought this is a rugby loving nation why wouldn’t the rugby be shown. I got a rather rude awakening as on entering Vadi’s there were lots of TV screens however only one in the corner with the sound turned off was screening the rugby. Turns out we had walked into a local betting bar and horse races were the name of the game.
We put on a brave face wriggled our way as close to the TV as we could and ordered Castle Milk Stouts and Red’s Premium Cider, pub appropriate drinks we thought. It turned out to be a fantastic afternoon and a great way to kick everything off. With a bowl of hot chips costing R12 and a variety of colourful characters who would gladly take some time out to explain the ins and outs of horse racing it put everyone in a jovial mood.
However our stomachs were rumbling and we knew we had a long night ahead of us, so we opted to head back to the house and order in. Our decision not the usual pizza or delivery menu but something new and I think very exciting which has opened on Constantia Road, much to my delight as I live only a few blocks away. Eat Out The Box is quite a new concept in the take away food market, I don’t know of anywhere else where you can get quality food the chicken is free range and the veggies and meat are all locally sourced. The menu is diverse with salads, pizzas, pastas and burgers and everything sounds mouth watering.
I ordered pasta with bacon, chilli, mushrooms and onions in a Napolitano sauce which was delicious and the boys all enjoyed their meals too. The prices are extremely competitive with three burgers, a pasta, a pizza and a salad adding up to R309 this was a very good deal. Also good to know is that you can order online, however their staff is very friendly and helpful over the phone (+27 (0)21 761-9839) I strongly suggest you give them a call next time you don’t feel like cooking.
While we waited for the food to arrive we thought it might be a good idea to find out a bit more about Die Antwoord and so onto the “interweb” we went and YouTube’d this group we did. What a find, I don’t think any of us were quite prepared for what the evening had in stall. This group has taken South Africa and parts of the world by storm. Seeing is believing and you need to listen to some of their interviews to understand who they are and their attitude on life and music. Their cult video “Enter the Ninja” – the only song I knew and now know the title to has had over four million hits on YouTube and it’s not hard to see why after you watch it.
You need fair warning though, this is not for the feint hearted, there is some seriously foul language and you may take offense at some of their lyrics. The group is made up of Ninja (you may recognise him from his former life as Max Normal), DJ Hi-Tek (who makes the banging music on his “PC Computer”) and the blonde beauty with an interesting haircut, Yolandi Visser. Who as someone described as having a potty mouth, he was very correct in that description.
Off we went and walked to the venue in the crisp winter air, as expected I was branded with a stamp the size of my forearm on entering the venue and once through the door we walked into a venue that was filling up with people. I was surprise at the variety of people who were there, both young and old and some serious fans, who were deemed as such by their Yolandi haircuts.
I wasn’t sure of any of the others on the line up, but I can tell you that they didn’t disappoint. Some seriously great music was played to warm the ever swelling crowd up. Drinks were also flowing that evening as you bought your plastic cup for an additional R5 which was yours for the keeping and drinks were R25 for a vodka redbull, when in Rome… Slightly horrified by the discovery that Die Antwoord was only due on stage at 23h30 because some friends turn into pumpkins when the clock strikes twelve, we settled in a good spot and enjoyed a bit of conversation before heading into the crowd.
The mood of the venue was electric and you could feel the anticipation and excitement the closer it got to 23h30. Die Antwoord wasn’t late as is notorious with concerts and the crowd volume increased in decibels as the Ninja entered. The crowd jumped up and down and sang along with the group for a rip roaring and seriously entertaining hour and a bit. While I couldn’t quite catch everything that was rapped and sung I acknowledged that this group has struck a chord and will forever remain a part of music history. Before going to the concert I wasn’t sure how the Afrikaans lyrics could translate to overseas audiences, however after watching them perform I understand now.
Die Antwood gave me the answer, with their high energy performance and exuberance I was sucked into it all and while I won’t be buying their album I will always remember Saturday 5 June 2010 as I allowed myself to discover new things, experience things far outside my comfort zone that were all quite out of this world!