Grimes - Live At Beach Goth 2015: Review
Mon, 07 Dec 2015 17:17:07
(October 24th 2014, Santa Ana, CA,) When the pale, pixie-like Grimes came into the lives of most indie and electronic music fans, it was in the form of the video for her "Genesis" single, and it was a perplexing introduction to say the least. At first, the abject weirdness of the video eclipsed the beauty of the song. The video featured Grimes' elbowy dancing in the desert, friends who wielded flaming swords and morningstars while chasing her in an SUV, and the most confusing figure of all: LA rapper and stripper Brooke Candy in a metallic bodysuit dancing and staring down the camera with white contacts. The whole spectacle made would-be fans go crosseyed.
The internet buzz surrounding Grimes was dubious at first due to the shock value of "Genesis," but fans soon learned this tiny Vancouver native was more than a weird one-trick pony. Grimes is a beautiful singer and songwriter and a very skilled electronic music producer. Three years, three albums and a string of singles later, Grimes is gaining well-deserved popularity for her music and her funky personality. Both were in no short supply when she performed at the 4th installment of the Beach Goth Festival.
Grimes played on Saturday at the two-day festival housed in the Observatory in Santa Ana. The festival featured other electronic greats like Del the Funky Homosapien, Die Antwoord and Riff Raff. The festival is organized each year by local beach tripper band The Growlers and it has grown each year it has been put on. This year Beach Goth featured over 30 bands and four areas of varying genres, but Grimes' Saturday performance on the main stage was a highlight of the Saturday lineup.
When Grimes first started performing at live events, she was very focused on her programming and visibly nervous during her sets. Since she sings all her songs live while working with no less than four synthesizers at once, stage presence was likely not foremost in her mind at these early gigs. Judging from her set at Beach Goth, however, Grimes has clearly gotten the hang of the performing thing. She was not only comfortable but put on a show which rivaled Alice Glass when she was in Crystal Castles.
Grimes covered quite a lot of ground both musically and literally, as the main stage at Beach Goth was huge. Since Grimes does all her programming live, there was quite a lot of running back and forth between the front of the stage and her synths. Grimes rarely missed a step, however, nor did she miss a note vocally. She still managed to be largely clear with her high-pitched elf voice despite all the cardio. Her far-too-short set ran the gamut of her work, featuring her most popular album, Visions, the most prominently. Visions contains most of Grimes' best-known songs, including "Genesis," with which she predictably closed her set. Also from Visions were "Oblivion," "Circumambient" and "Be a Body." The album-less yet nonetheless popular collaboration with Blood Diamonds, "Go" received huge crowd reception.
The second biggest portion of Grimes' set was, surprisingly, dedicated to as yet unreleased songs, presumably from her forthcoming album, Art Angels. "REALiTi" is the first single from this album and was pre-released in March, but three other unknown songs were also part of the performance. The crowd seemed unphased, however, and continued to dance, sing and love Grimes whether or not the material was known.
Grimes' performance at Beach Goth was everything a fan would expect: high energy, thoroughly elbowy and almost ecstatic. As she's gotten more comfortable with the stage, Grimes has been able to let more of that oddly captivating personality she showed glimpses of in "Genesis." The performance at Beach Goth kicks off Grimes' "Rhinestone Cowgirls" tour supporting the forthcoming Art Angels.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff
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