Die Antwoord Brings the Mayhem to a Sold-Out House of Blues

Die Antwoord
House of Blues
October 5, 2016

Bonnie and Clyde.
Mickey and Mallory.
Ninja and Yolandi.

Whether actual or fictional, those notorious couples have done some terrible things, but all were bonded by love.

Wednesday night at House of Blues, the South African duo and DJ Hi-Tek, collectively known as Die Antwoord, slaughtered those who walked in the door from the moment the first beats rained down from the turntable. The world's greatest Zef entertainers delivered their visceral show to a sold-out room of screaming fans that chanted along with them throughout their 75-minute set.

The show started with the massive disembodied face of Leon Botha, his eyes scanning the crowd and occasionally blinking. It was a fitting way to memorialize their friend and former DJ, who passed more than five years ago. The tribute was interrupted by the shout of "H-town!"

Ninja emerged from behind the curtain and surveyed the frenzied crowd as Yolandi (Visser) came out squeaking random shout-outs to our city. For the next hour and 15 minutes, Die Antwoord ran through all of their underground hits scattered through their four albums, backed by some brilliant techno-trap beats. "DJ Hi-Tek is God, motherfucker," claimed Ninja early in the night.

A few skirmishes broke out on the floor and Ninja had God stop the show twice to tell someone below to stop in his African accent. "You're fucking up the whole show. Jesus fuck. Stop fighting. We came to party."

The vulgar yet loving lyrics had couples hugged up and grinding on each other on the packed floor. One fan saw the event as a perfect opportunity to wear his Trojan Magnum T-shirt out with his mom and teenage son. The question lingers, did he buy the shirt off eBay, or was he actually sponsored by the prophylactics giant?

Likewise, questions remain about the status of their relationship, but several times Ninja seemed to look lovingly into Yolandi's eyes; the way he held her hand did not seem to be an act. She responded by smiling through her gold teeth, reflecting the spotlight back to the fans.

The show closed with the group and their backup dancers respectfully kneeling before the crowd. When the crew popped up, Yolandi said, "H-town be happy!" Somewhere there is a video of Ninja's final act of the night, in which he grabbed a phone and shoved it down his pants while rubbing his "Raging Zef Boner," before kindly returning it to the owner.

Now that Antwoord is "Stoopid Rich," and allegedly shutting down in 2017, how will the international community get its fill of the Zef style? If God can really drive Yolandi and Ninja into the sunset next year, it really may wind up being a happy ending that the aforementioned loving couples at the top of this review never achieved.

Personal Bias: I drink my coffee black like Ninja's soul and I fink Yolandi is freaky.

Overheard In the Crowd: Two constables made their way into the crowd between DJ Baby Roo and Die Antwoord sets and somebody yelled, "Strippers are here!"
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Jackson is a freelance photographer and writer covering a variety of music and sporting events in the Houston area. He has contributed to the Houston Press since 2013.
Contact: Jack Gorman