Did I mention that I saw Grimes on October 15th at Douglas Fir Lounge? No, I didn’t think so. I wanted to take a brief aside (although several weeks too late) to point out just how surprising the experience was.
Also, I might forget it. It’s best to write these things down while your recollections are fresh. Otherwise all you remember is, “Yeah, I saw that happen.” So here goes.
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Well, for starters I was late. I missed the first opening act, and by opening act I mean this:
(via Cameron Chavarria)
I kind of regret missing it. I love fireworks.
Anyway, sometime after this light show I showed up. Here’s a breakdown of what happened during, in between and afterwards:
1) You know how bands play music while you wait around for the show to start? Grimes chose opera, choral and classical music. I’ve never, ever heard something like this playing before a show, and it’s a testament to Grimes’ eclectic influences and tastes. I’m not sure if the crowd at Douglas Fir appreciated it, but I sure did.
Sadly, by this point a good chunk of the people there were on their way to getting totally plastered.
2) The electronic equipment on stage was mechanical and masculine but Grimes had it wrapped in pink veils and covered with flowers- an interesting sight. There was a hint of a Japanese as well as a Mexican (as in Day Of The Dead) influence.
3) Suddenly a guy dressed in camo appeared with a ring of roses on his head. I thought, “This is the most Grimes-esque roadie I’ve ever seen.” He brought out some stuffed animals to put on the stage, one of which resembled a large decapitated teddy bear. He also set an Japanese umbrella and electronic guitar on the ground. Then he opened a laptop and began to tinker with it.
4) This guy turned out to be the second opening act, Elite Gymnastics. He pushed a button on the laptop and heavy dance beats filled the room while he swayed and looked shyly at the floor. Then he began to sing into the microphone and his voice was auto-tuned.
The strange thing was that I recognized the lyrics… then I realized he was covering The Spice Girls “Say You’ll Be There.” Needless to say it was fucking awesome, and he ended it with a HARMONICA SOLO.
He could have just dropped the microphone after that and been like, “Peace!” but I’m glad he didn’t.
Sadly, there is no studio version of this cover (I wrote him personally requesting it; jury is still out on that one). But here’s what it sounded like (sort of). This performance happened a few days before the 15th.
5) Elite Gymnastics’ set was short. He stood on the electric guitar to make noise at one point. During one song he twirled the Japanese umbrella over his shoulder and sang while footage of Amanda Todd played behind him. Coincidentally I had read about Todd’s suicide earlier that day. It was kind of a sad, emotional moment.
6) Grimes followed, wearing a black hood and flanked by the two girls from Myths, obscured by pearlescent veils. As I had assumed she was totally adorable, though not as tiny as imagined.
7) Grimes ROCKED the place for the next hour or so, mostly playing material from Visions. Sad news: I’m pretty sure she went deaf halfway through the show because she had to stop and ask for her earpiece to be shut off. As a result, three of her tour dates were canceled the next day (eventually the whole tour was canned) due to tinnitus.
Now here’s where it gets interesting.
8) Apparently Grimes fans suck.
9) Yeah. Grimes fans really suck.
10) Seriously. There were people actually trying to mosh during the show. For the uninitiated to Grimes’ music- believe me, this makes absolutely no sense.
Also, these were girls who were trying to mosh, not guys. The guys were actually being polite, standing around and minding their own business. If these girls weren’t shoving everyone they were screaming the lyrics completely off-key and yelling things like, “IF PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THIS SONG I’M GOING TO FUCKING KILL THEM.”
11) Note to self: get rich, book Grimes for private concert with civilized people, drink tons of champagne.
Still, I enjoyed myself. Would I see Grimes again? In a heartbeat, but with a completely different crowd.
Sadly there are no videos of Grimes’ performance on the 15th, but I’ll include another video from her 2012 tour. I apologize for the sound, though. Apparently this person’s phone couldn’t handle the noise. But after all, neither could Grimes’ ears.