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5 things I wrote in my notebook during Die Antwoord’s House of Blues set

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Ninja (left) and Yo-landi
Photo: Sean Metlerkamp

1. The music feels a little hollow without the signature bizarre music videos, but the rhymes are solid and full of energy. The rave beats are definitely more palatable on a live sound system, in a packed room of dancing fans.

2. Turns out those aren’t effects you hear on record—Yo-landi’s voice is really that high-pitched. Wonderfully disconcerting to hear something so delicate combined with hip-hop aggression that’s even more pronounced live.

3. Nonstop ab-shaking, knee-pumping, arm-flailing onstage from both of them throughout the set. Exhausted just watching them.

4. From his rat-tailed mullet to his baggy neon pants to his erratic dance moves, Ninja reminds me of an overgrown, over-caffeinated ’80s Soviet teenager attending his first rave.

5. Yo-landi transforms seamlessly from gangsta to sexy to ethereal to terrifying, depending on the song. Want her or want to be her? Can’t decide.

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