Show Review: Grimes @ Lambert’s (2/29)
I believe that the blogosphere is quite abuzz with Grimes. Canadian Claire Boucher is working hard right now, she is in demand. That is why the relatively small space afforded by Lambert’s must have been an early, but fortunate, booking. It was fortunate because it was such an intimate space for Grimes and openers Born Gold, but unfortunate because more could have said that they got to see her before SxSW this year.
There were sound issues, weird and then no lighting, props galore for the opener, shoulder to shoulder dancing and many happy fans. Buzz.
We had a brief chat before show – polite, petite.
Born Gold is Cecil Frena’s creation. Future pop? That seems to fit as the band pulls elements from dubstep, electro and synth-rock and delivers it on stage with Xbox Kinect hacking, iPads, a motion-sensitive and well-lit drum machine jacket, headset mics, gold shovel synth pads, stilts, lit geisha fans, leaf blowers, black satin sheet, strobe lights, masks and helmets to create a rather interesting experience. I think it would have worked better without the subwoofer crashing (later resolved) and the remarkably tight-packed crowd hampering off-stage excursions. All said and done, there were really good songs buried beneath the shens.
I recall “End of Days” and “Lawn Knives” leaving an impression. There is a bit of an Isaac Brock warble to the vocal at times, further clouding things. If you listen to their latest, hit those two tracks and “Alabaster Bodyworks” to get the flavor. Scan through the album Bodysongs. IT Dept. approved.
Brief break as props are removed and Grimes sets up her gear. There is is a lot of song-crafting going on, despite the use of backing tracks. Pulling vocal samples and setting up sequences, putting things in motion and then delivering the vocal. Unfortunately, Claire was fighting a bit of a cold. She had a sense of humor about it, sweetly explaining that she would normally sing the extremely high falsetto after it disappeared mid-note, then shaking her head in frustration. The crowd was more than accepting, shouting random encouragements and I love you’s between every song. I suppose her busy 2011 SxSW, IT Dept. mention and early set at FFF6 probably puts Austin ahead of the buzz-curve, hence the knowledgable, loyal, dancing sardines. For anyone that hasn’t seen her yet, you will have eight shots at Grimes during SxSW.
Go do it. As expected, “Vanessa”, “Oblivion” and “Genesis” ruled the crowd. My brain is matching up “Circumambient” to being great. Born Gold did join on stage as her band for the middle portion of the set taking a bit of pressure off the solo artist to perform and focus on the vocals and layering.
It was dark, the stage barely lit for Grimes; the lightshow was coming from cell phone and small camera and flashes. It was challenging but fun. There are more pics at the photo site…