Show Review: Grimes @ Emos (10/6)

It was the first real taste of colder weather in Austin Saturday night, and I got the chance to see Grimes and accompanying acts on the Mythical Gymnastics tour at Emo’s. Even though the show sold out weeks ago, the venue announced the release of 100 more tickets, allowing the already packed space to feel even more like a weekend night on the dance floor of Barbarella (which isn’t a bad thing). More after the jump…

First up was Vancouver duo Myths. Shrouded in veils and glittery capes, they took to the stage on opposing sides in the fashion of performance art, which people in the crowd seemed to either be enamored by or slightly terrified of. Much like Grimes, their sound has various elements to it, from the darker industrial, to ethereal vocals, bouts of shrieking and even rapping. Where they differ from the show’s headliner is the overall result does not seem to come together to create something I could follow, and at times I winced as the harsh vocals clashed with other sounds.
Next came newly solo, James Brooks, as Elite Gymnastics who opened with a cover of “Say You’ll Be There” by the Spice Girls, which personally made my night (and I don’t care what N. Lankford would have to say about it). Fumbling a bit with his equipment, Mr. Brooks was admittedly shy in front of the packed Emo’s, but won hearts by throwing flowers into the audience and brandishing his harmonica in “Andreja 4-Ever” and throughout his set.
It was finally the moment for Claire Boucher to come on stage and she came with an energy that met everyone’s expectations. Wearing an oversized American flag shirt, and the two ladies from Myths flanking her side, Grimes bounced and sang for a somewhat short 45 minutes. Crowd favorites were undeniably “Oblivion” and “Genesis,” but she performed most of Visions, which came out this year to heaps of critical praise. The appeal of Grimes to many is how so many influences and genres of sound can come together in a myriad of forms and layers to create such rich and unique pop music. Singing with an almost childlike falsetto, the vast looping of her voice is the most non-structured, yet significant portion of her music at times, which makes her songs hard to grab onto for some. Some people I shared the experience with commented that they were disappointed they did not see her doing as much of this herself, and relied more on pre-recorded tracks that she sang along to. The atmosphere in the crowd was incredible though and by the end of her set (having forgone an encore, which she warned fans about), the entire room was joyously dancing along.

Overall, the crowd influenced my experience as much as the acts on stage, but I enjoyed partaking in a huge dance party with Grimes there to supply the tunes.

Words by Stephanie Yeargan.  We also apologize for a lack of pictures…the photographer for this show has disappeared; Brian Gray will forever be our most dependable photographer.

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