Published on July 17th, 2015 | by joshenjammer


Death Grips

IMG_6849Heaven Stage, The Masquerade, Atlanta, Georgia, July 15, 2015

Story by Josh. Pictures by Jack Colclough

I have been to a fair amount of shows, many of them extremely energetic and exciting. However, none of the acts I have seen up till now could have prepared me for the malevolent intensity that was Death Grips.

Although the group “broke up” a year ago, they have since reunited to release their long awaited project Jenny Death (part two of their album The Powers That B) as well as embark on a tour of Canada and the United States.

Although my hopes of seeing the band were initially dashed by their breakup announcement, the moment the tour was announced a friend and I bought tickets and began excitedly anticipating the show. After several months of waiting and reading extremely positive feedback on the Internet about shows earlier on in the tour, I was very pumped, and my expectations were extremely high. Any other band probably would not have lived up to such lofty expectations, but I can say with confidence that Death Grips far exceeded them.

When the band took the stage, it was after about an hour of waiting and listening to extremely abrasive noises played over the PA system

When the band took the stage, it was after about an hour of waiting and listening to extremely abrasive noises played over the PA system, as if to make the audience extra raw and agitated before the concert began. When Death Grips finally began playing their aggressive mix of industrial rap and pure punk rock intensity, the setlist naturally kicked off with some of their faster and more aggressive songs, Takyon (Death Yon), Come up and Get Me, and Inanimate Sensation. This built up a great deal of energy right off the bat; an energy that was preserved throughout the set despite how tired everyone got.

As the night went on, some of the band’s stranger deep cuts got thrown in, and every single one of them was even more visceral and strange in a live setting. In songs such as Up My Sleeves and Anne Bonny, the strange intros built up tension in the room that was released into crazed dancing and moshing when each song’s abrasive beat kicked in.

Many of my favorite songs that were performed that night were not the ones that I expected to be my favorites, mainly for the very reason that they were unexpectedly impressive live.

The energy of the crowd was suffocatingly intense

The venue, The Masquerade in Atlanta’s “Heaven Stage”, was the smallest of the tour so far. However, because the event sold out almost immediately upon going on sale, everyone packed into the small space. The energy of the crowd was suffocatingly intense, with everyone squeezed together while also trying to move to the music and mosh.

The result of this was a throbbing mass of people so hyped-up on the band they were seeing that almost all else except the music was totally forgotten in the chaos.

I have never before been so immersed in a band’s performance, jumping and moving with the crowd and completely forgetting myself. It was an intense and visceral performance, and extremely enjoyable to bounce around with people who loved the music just as much as I did.

Death Grips not only exceeded my already sky-high expectations, but also redefined for me what a band can do in a live setting.

What I experienced was barely controlled chaos perpetuated by some of the loudest music I have ever heard, and I loved every second of it.

About the Author

I am an artist, musician and writer based in Athens, GA.

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