GRIMES // “CIRCUMAMBIENT” @ PIER 84

THANK YOU to Loren Wohl, who captured Grimes' performance of “Circumambient” at Hudson River Rocks last night which, as I wrote in my full review of the show, was one of the night’s best songs. Beware, Grimes may steal your soul:

- MARK DOMMU

GRIMES @ PIER 84 WITH WILD NOTHING AND DIIV

First of all, hats off to Hudson River Rocks for putting on a summer full of amazing, TOTALLY FREE shows. I will fellate everyone involved with organizing these awesome free events.

Thursday night was the perfect evening for a show on the pier. The breeze was cool, the sunset was beautiful and there were thousands of well dressed kids out on the pier for Grimes, Wild Nothing and DIIV. Literally thousands, Williamsburg must have been completely empty.

DIIV started the night out and I’d never heard/heard of them before and had a lot of fun during their set. Their ambient garage rock was the perfect sound to get the evening of music started. They were very enthusiastic performers and I often found myself jumping which is always a good sign.

Wild Nothing was pretty good, I really liked the sound but couldn’t connect with Jack Tatum, his voice just didn’t match the promise of his music. Nonetheless I did start enjoying myself more at the end of the set when they played songs from their new album, Nocturne.

Then Grimes came on.

Fuck man, that was some supersonic sexual music magic. I’m more of a rock and roll guy than an electronic music freak, but Grimes just takes it to another level with her dark, indietronic dream pop. Claire Boucher manipulates her keyboard and mixers like a witch brewing a cauldron. She plowed through Visions, arguably one of the best albums to drop this year, with almost no between-song banter. The few times she did speak she came off as charmingly shy with an adorable lisp, her blonde and pink hair in long braids.

Being at a Grimes show, as I now know, is like being at a rave for ghosts. Her distinctive brand of witch house madness is haunting and so complexly layered. Boucher uses her magnetic, almost angelic voice the way she does any of the other sounds she creates and works with, manipulating it with a mastery that is prodigious and captivating. Highlights of her set included the dreamy “Circumambient”, which she growled her way through like a wild animal, her viral single “Oblivion” that turned the crowd into a mad dance party and her surprise encore, “Nightmusic”. She also played "Phone Sex", the Blood Diamonds track she guests on, as well as some NEW music, that’s, in her words, “not real songs yet”. I’m VERY excited that I’ll be seeing Grimes again in October, once was not enough.

Check out the first 12 minutes of her set, thanks to YouTube user iwaseasymeat: