Detroit’s electronic scene may be known primarily for techno beats, but 24-year-old GRiZ has been making some massive waves with his signature future-funk sound. His eargasmic mishmash of dubstep and funk first floored me at 2013’s Lightning in a Bottle and made my attendance at his show at The Wiltern last week pretty much mandatory.

After having stuffed my face with an açaí bowl across the street (God bless LA), I waddled over to The Wiltern eager to have my ears stuffed with great music. I had thought GRiZ would be shouldering this burden mostly on his own, but I’m happy to report that one of the night’s openers, The Floozies, bore some of it as well.

I’m a sucker for electronic sounds performed with a full band, so you could say that I was predisposed to enjoy The Floozies live, but make no mistake, they were legitimately awesome. If you can’t take my word for it, let the hundreds of writhing, sweaty bodies getting down and dirty to funky riffs at The Wiltern speak on my behalf. It’s been a while since I caught an opening act that killed it quite like they did.

The energy in the venue was electric by the time The Floozies left the stage, and it was all the more apparent that GRiZ had his work cut out for him if he was planning on filling the void they had left. Lucky for us, GRiZ kicks ass live.

He took the stage to an appreciative crowd that did not settle down in the slightest over the course of two glorious hours. If anything, by the time “The Anthem” was blaring a couple songs in, they upped their enthusiasm to the point that the already-stuffy Wiltern became downright humid. And if you, like me, began thinking this all might be too much to handle, the live sax bits played by the man of the hour himself sent the crowd into a downright frenzy.


GRiZ’s set pulled heavily from his newest release, Say It Loud, a standout album in its own right that takes on an entirely new, formidable form when it’s performed live. “Get Down,” in particular, translates so well live it’s actually kind of stupid.

He also detoured every so often to weave the likes of “Jungle Boogie” and “Shout” into a set that was rife with grinding bass wobbles and dizzying syncopated guitar riffs. Although it made for the occasionally awkward between-song transition, the audience didn’t seem to mind it much.


Speaking of the audience, I have to give credit where credit is due and go on the record saying that with the exception of Mr. Douchebro who kept tapping me and trying to get me to take a picture of his bros in arms while I had a long lens mounted (note to concertgoers: never, ever, EVER do that…it’s annoying as fuck), last Friday’s was among the nicest and most welcoming concert crowds I’ve encountered. It’s not something I’m accustomed to with the typical dubstep set, but then again, this isn’t exactly what I’d call your typical dubstep. Hey, any crowd with Gumby and Pokey rocking out has my vote.


If this review is making you bummed that you missed this show, you have a chance to redeem yourself later this month at Lightning in a Bottle or later still in August at Hard Summer. If you’re on the lookout for something fresh and funky that won’t disappoint live, you might find everything you’re looking for in GRiZ.

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