Griz topped the Billboard electronic charts with an album he also gave away free. This makes him the most pop act I’ve seen this year. There was an impending Katy Perry concert (it was only $20 so I considered that a great deal) which could have put him second but he has triumphed and has risen above the rest. He played as I was leaving Hulaween and was also at Camp Bisco earlier this summer but this was a chance to hear him with his crowd, at his show.
Coyote came along to the nearly sold out Wednesday night show at the Capital Theater. We strolled in late but early enough to catch part of Opiuo’s opening set and the full Griz set. The downstairs was packed but we managed to find a bit of room in the back to dance. Finding the space proved easier than finding partners. The first sign you’re not at a hippie festival. But wait, that dude has a Dead shirt on, that woman has a Phish hat on, that… person is in a dragon onesie. The audience spanned from teen to mid-40s sporting varying fandom accouterments. One thought was maybe people had season tickets to the Cap and showed up tonight not knowing who was playing. The Cap doesn’t have season tickets (otherwise I would have bought them) so that’s out. It seems the Griz fanbase straddles a multi-genre fanbase. A booking at the Cap should have been enough of a clue.
Griz calls his music “Future Funk” and layers jazz, hip-hop, soul, breakbeats, and dubstep together behind his live sax playing and guitarist. The set started full-force with fast tracks, deep beats, and hip-hop tunes complimented beautifully by animated projections behind the stage, on the equipment stands, and on the walls of the venue. We ventured upstairs to get a better view of the cartoons which reminded me to re-watch Wave Twisters. Throughout the night, the young crowd pushed the boundaries of usher patience by dancing through the aisles of the balcony. The rows of seats upstairs were nearly empty but too confined for the enthusiastic few. Our spot gave us provided great sound, view, and enough room to bounce along to each beat drop.
More research on Griz taught me he is young (born in 1990) and he is consistently adding new voices to his tracks including Talib Kweli and Eric Krasno (who themselves seem to be divergent). Griz has also had a successful partnership with Gramatik billed as Grizmatik which featured on some key tours and festivals.
The last third of his set became more melodic and offered variation to the pace. At one point, the screen showed beautiful footage of sun-drenched surfing over his calming downtempo beats.
The word by the end of the night was, “we need to dance more!” Coyote and I already have tickets for String Cheese Incident at this very venue to ring in the new year together. That will be the last show of the year and the first of 2018. The crew for that will be large and ready to roll! We snapped a pic in front of the poster before leaving. It can’t come quick enough.0 likes