Five Things to Expect at a Grimes Show

When Grimes, a.k.a. Claire Boucher, took the stage at Made in America, the crowd was instantly polarized. Those who were familiar with Grimes’s new age, dream pop had a blast—but for festival-goers who had just trickled in from Danny Brown’s set, there was a lot of confusion. It’s easy to write off Grimes as just a fairy-like girl with funky hair who messes with synths and microphones for an hour, but the Canadian artist has serious talent—of the entire MIA lineup, Grimes was a must-see (No offense, Kanye).

Grimes at Made In America

If you aren’t sure what a Grimes show is like, make sure you’re not that guy who yells, “I’m just waiting for Girl Talk!” across the pit. Here are five things to expect when you see Grimes perform:

1. Colors: As we waited for Grimes’s set to begin, my friend and I tried to guess what color her hair would be. I thought that green was a good guess, since I had seen a recent picture of her with green hair, but you can never anticipate what Grimes will do—her hair was bright, turquoise blue. During her performance, LED screens and stage lights cycle through a variety of colors, featuring a different color scheme to match the ambiance of each song.

2. Dancing: Between the fans in the pit and Grimes’s perfectly synchronized backup dancers, you can be sure to expect a lot of dancing at a Grimes show. The backup dancers on stage wear identical outfits that look like they’re from American Apparel, and they look so much alike that I wonder if they’re twins—and even when they perform complicated floor work and twirl streamers in the air, they never fall out of sync.

3. Props: If you think you see the crew setting up a bubble machine before the show, you are correct—get ready for a cascade of bubbles to float through the crowd at random intervals. And those bouquets of red roses that Grimes’s dancers toss into the pit? Don’t worry. They don’t have thorns.

4. Fictional Creatures: Sometimes, Grimes doesn’t seem totally human. Fans in the crowd commented that her long, wavy blue hair makes her look like a mermaid. But from her eclectic hair colors to her high-pitched voice and delicate physique, I’m pretty sure that Grimes is actually a fairy or a pixy. Trust me.

5. Oblivion: If you see Grimes in a festival setting, most people will be oblivious to her style of music—but that’s not the only form of oblivion at a Grimes show. Recently, Pitchfork named Grimes’s song “Oblivion” as the “Best Track of the Decade So Far.” Though “Oblivion” is upbeat and danceable, the song has more than one dimension—Grimes says that “Oblivion” recounts her traumatic experience with sexual assault. The dichotomy between the song’s lively rhythm and ominous message only highlights Grimes’s knack for songwriting. Her ability to weave dire political messages into a seemingly innocent set is undeniably impressive and definitely worth seeing.

1 Comment

  1. Lauren Silvestri

    September 8, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    I LOVE Grimes! She is genuinely so talented and also intelligent, something that many popular artists lack today.

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