02 ABC, 13/03
Usually, it’s pretty disappointing if a gig only lasts an hour. Grimes’ set, though, is so energetic that any more might be too much to handle. Grimes (real name Claire Elise Boucher) bounded around like a Duracell bunny at a rave – if she wasn’t jumping between instruments, she was high-kicking her way across the stage. The (pretty gorgeous) crowd, decked out in light-up trainers, glitter, and angular pastel-dyed haircuts, couldn’t get enough of it. When the lights came up at the end of the night, I realised I’d probably done more dancing and sweating in the past hour than in the rest of the month.
The set was skewed towards songs from Art Angels, Grimes’ most recent album. She’s been criticised for moving in a more poppy direction, but it’s difficult not to want to bounce along to her catchy choruses. Though older tracks like ‘Genesis’ and ‘Oblivion’ got some of the biggest cheers of the night, it’s the most recent single ‘Kill v. Maim’ that triumphantly rounded off the show. Her enthusiasm was totally infectious, as she introduces what seems like every second song as “one of my favourites”. Introducing ‘Scream’, her collaboration with Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes, Grimes shyly grins, “I don’t speak Mandarin so I’m going to do the Russian version” and then launched into a cacophonous performance with metal screams that you’d never imagine could come out of such a small body.
Grimes was accompanied on stage by support act Hana, providing back-up vocals, and two exuberant but impossibly cool dancers. Incorporating hip-hop and ballet flourishes and long ribbons that billow across the stage, their dancing brought even more energy to the packed room. There’s nothing quite like knowing just how much fun an artist is having on stage, and Boucher and her posse were clearly loving every minute. It’s pretty obvious that the whole crowd wanted to be part of their badass-but-sweet girl gang, with Grimes as the odd but enchanting Queen Bee. If anyone in the room wasn’t in love with her before this gig, they definitely were now.