Khaela, the singer, dove off the stage and swam out to Melissa, the tech wizard in white, who was creating all the images and sounds from a control deck in the middle of the crowd.
After singing the underwater hit "True Affection," Khaela swam back to the stage.
There was smoke, there was talk of black holes, there was awkward Blow-ish banter with the audience ("This album took a really long time—I say that to make you feel more comfortable"), there was shadow dancing, there was pantomiming of leaning over a girl playing dead in order to check her pulse and, while down there, kissing her. But the thing I can't get out of my head is the way the Blow performed "True Affection" last night at Neumos. This is a song that a surprising number of people have done covers of on YouTube. It's the slowest thing in the regular-rotation Blow catalog. Every Blow fan knows the words. It's a plaintive, off-two-minds song, and it's a watery song: "I was out of your league, and you were 20,000 underneath the sea, waiving affections..." "You'd surface first and we'd share our thought bubble..." "Your depths made a pressure that punctured my works and all your fluids couldn't tolerate the force of my thirst..." "And true affection floats. True affection sinks like a stone..."
Okay, so what did they do? They did swimming. Khaela swam laps. It is not the kind of song you expect crowd-surfing to happen during, and the Monday-night audience looked a little taken aback when Khaela first dove onto them, but this is Seattle and once it was clear what was happening everyone knew what to do. Well not everyone. Khaela got fairly close to where Melissa was but then the crowd assumed she wanted to get back to the stage, and Khaela kept having to say, "No, toward my girlfriend. TOWARD MY GIRLFRIEND!" Eventually Khaela got to her girlfriend, standing there at the glowing control deck, but in the melee the mic cord somehow became disconnected from the sound system. The beat to "True Affection" had already started, though, and the show must go on, so the crowd just sang the song a cappella. Shouted the song. Well, everyone who knew the song shouted along, and everyone who didn't know the song was like What the fuck is happening? It was awesome. It was so... affectionate. And then at last the sound guy got to the bottom of the mic issue, and Khaela sang the last couple lines of the song amplified, and then she asked the crowd near her there at the control deck to get closer to her, and then to put their hands up, and then she dove onto them, and they carried her back to the stage.