An open-minded experience with a lil’ camera phone action… by Alison Wood.
When I walked into the Masonic Temple in Fort Greene Brooklyn, I immediately googled what Masonic Temples were. Where am I? The air smelled like a haunted house, whose fog machines had been used way too many times. Smoky, but eerily familiar. The floors looked like an old 1960s gymnasium, small wood planks, all-too-heavily-varnished instead of just being replaced. The exit signs pictured below were little creepy lanterns.
The ceilings pictured here were overly ornate and covered in moderate chandeliers, if there were such a thing. I immediately started humming Masquerade by the Phantom of the Opera cast. I turned to my roommate and mouthed “Sorry.” Yes, I pulled her into a weird vortex of “my friend in Sweden told me about this show, cheap tickets, lets gooo!” (Don’t we all have a Swedish pen pal?) I immediately started to regret this decision.
The show opened and its headliner, iamamiwhoami, a Swedish performance dance/rock artist began. Her movements were extremely alien like, reserved, calculated, extremely contained energy. I didn’t notice that they were actually choreographed until mid show when I realized her backup singer was doing the exact same hand motions, shoulder movements, and head nods.
…..She quickly went from this hazy square background:
…To her signature ragged hair coat. She came out hunched, almost in pain. My emotions ran from confusion to empathy. What happened to her? What’s going on? Everyone was cheering while I stood puzzled.
After a few slower songs, she started to play more upbeat dance music. Her thin frame lost the coat and the background colors changed. She changed. Her minimalistic black body suit and long blonde hair sucked us back in to her dance and phenomenal voice which I was starting to listen to more and more with each song.
The crowd began to respond — dancier, more energetic. During one of her most popular songs, she decided to jump into the crowd and continue dancing and singing with her new American fans. No, not the obnoxious crowd surf that awkwardly falls after a few seconds. She calmly and daintily climbed into the crowd, rather, into the trenches. Oh Mah Gaahhd she’s one of us!!!!!!!!
The show had several encore songs, all of which I didn’t want to end. Going into the concert, I had no clue what to expect. I analyzed everything around me to make sure I stayed within my comfort zone. My skepticism was danced out of me and my roommate. This witch-like Scandinavian angel had put a trance on us that night; honestly, I think that was the most fun I’ve had in awhile. Iamamiwhoami forced me, on this random Tuesday in Brooklyn, to accept the unexpected. This is an important lesson which we so frequently forget on a day to day basis. Thank you Iamamiwhoami for reminding me to leave my judgments at the door, take in the world around me and for giving me further insight to whoiam.
Like musical experiences? Check this one out: Michael Kiwanuka is The Next Huge Music Act, And We’re Okay With That (9:30 Club Show)