Grimes – Manchester Academy – Live Review

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Grimes live feels like the future, or like the future sci-fi films from the 80’s envisioned. The likes of Blade Runner and that dystopian Apple advert the recent Steve Jobs films has reminded people of, painted a future of bright colours breaking against the drab grey tangle of towers and wires, and Grimes would fit right in with it all. Red, blue, and green neon dominate, the dancers choreography feels almost cyborg, the sunglasses compliment it as they do Arnie in the Terminator. This is Grimes live, and that’s before even mentioning the sound of the music.

The new more pop powered direction of Art Angels may still have its doubters, but anyone who sees these songs played live will have their doubts blasted away by the thumping bass. These songs are alive when performed on stage with ribbons flying through the air, and Grimes writhing on the floor like the girl from The Exorcist. The dream like sounds of the past don’t belong in this power pop future, and any that did make it through, such as Be a Body and Oblivion, have been rebooted to suit the new.

Though the returning pieces could quite easily be thrown away in future sets, they just aren’t needed, even the controversial Go written for Rhianna shines more thanks to the breakdown of the thumping bass. It’s an almost unthinkable thought when the records are spun, but live? Well, this is the way to go.

It was a little bit like The Knife Shaking The Habitual in presentation, with the unconventional dance manoeuvres, and the idea that Grimes isn’t the main focus all the way through, the dancers, and Hana get just as much time to shine.

Cheers drown her out, she doesn’t have a voice to speak between, all she can do is play. The music rules over here. No encores shove aside more conventions, it’s fresher than a walk out and back in again routine.

Welcome to retrofuturism, this is now.

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