One thing that we truly love is the ability to celebrate diversity in music. Many genre thumpers are set in their ways, but when an artist can find a way to incorporate the best of two worlds into a single sound, they tend to climb the ladder and catch the ears of the most tasteful music lovers. In the world of electronic music, there are few artists who have had the ability to capture the mixings of multiple genres into a worldwide sound. Artists such as Hucci, Big Gigantic, and Pretty Lights have worked their way into the dance music scene by combining aspects of hip-hop, funk, rock, and many other genres into their electronic based productions. Another artist who does this so well is Griz. Over the last few years, Griz has rightfully climbed the ladder within EDM blasting out consistent singles and albums and gaining a large and very dedicated fan base. His specific mixture of live saxophone and flawless production has made him a household name, and on his recent Good Will Prevail tour, it provided him with a sold out night at The Fillmore. Alongside him was opening talent The Geek x VRV and Haywyre.
Last Saturday the master of funk arrived in Philadelphia and was set to put one one of his mind blowing performances that he is so well known for. However, the night did not turn out as planned. While Griz and his accompany guitarist Muzzy Bear played an incredible set, the circumstances surrounding the venue and their handling of the show unfortunately didn’t allow us to enjoy the performance. We arrived at the venue on November 5th at around 8:20 pm ready and excited to catch the openers who had begun playing about 15 minutes earlier. We were extremely excited to see both as The Geek x VRV provided us with one of our favorite performances at Electric Forest this year, and we had heard nothing but incredible things about Haywyre as well. As we parked, we saw flocks and flocks of attendees making their way to the entrance, which was not a surprise as the show was sold out. What was surprising to us was the sheer size of the line once we actually reached the entrance to the venue. The line sprung at least a full block straight back and seemed to be moving relatively slow. We got in line and patiently waited figuring that we would be in relatively soon and would be able to at least catch Haywyre.
Fast forward to 10pm and we are just now entering the final security checkpoint of the venue. Haywyre was playing the last song of his set, and while we would love to tell you that both openers did a great job, we honestly can’t as we didn’t get the chance to see their sets. Once we got inside the doors, there was a gigantic crowd of fans standing in the lobby waiting to be checked by security. As we entered the lobby, we were shocked to see metal detectors and what seemed to be TSA style security moving the mass of people so slowly that we were barely moving inches per minute. We stopped to question whether or not we were boarding an airplane or attending a concert? We are all for security but not at the expense of speedy entry (it took us almost 90 minutes in line to get inside).
Once we were inside of the packed venue and finally ready to blow some steam off to an epic set by Griz, we entered the main room to find that the sound was so incredibly quiet, that we could speak to each other at normal volume and still hear ourselves over the music. We figured we would move our way up to the front of the crowd in order to get closer to the speakers, but even that didn’t seem to be enough as we were standing next to the speakers themselves and it still was at a boring level of sound. Griz sparked some excitement and groovy dance moves in us, but the majority of the set did not hit in the way that a Griz set should. Unfortunately for this show, Griz’s fantastic performance was overshadowed by some of the worst sound that we can remember in the electronic dance music scene in Philadelphia. To their credit, the fans still rocked out throughout Griz’s set. Hopefully next time Griz is in the performance goes more smoothly as we would love to get the funk down with his set a lot more than we had the chance to this time around.
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[Photo credit: C2H2 Photo]
[Article by Adam Leopold]
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