Oddly Irresistible

October 26th, 2012

Grimes – Music Hall of Williamsburg – October 25, 2012

Grimes works in odd pairings. Onstage at Music Hall of Williamsburg last night, her appearance was part adorable, part creepy. With two long black pigtails, she had the look of a sword-wielding vixen from the Kill Bill series. The two other girls joining her onstage donned shimmering glittery ponchos and, underneath them, neon glow-in-the-dark skeleton outlines drawn onto their outfits. The stage was littered with fake flowers, but felt more like a well-decorated graveyard than a sunny flower stand. A lot of Grimes’ music consists of pretty storms of ethereal vocals looping alongside heavy bass parts that beat the beauty out of them. The sound is odd but also irresistible. Sometimes the venue was filled with the echoing pop-synth beats circa the cheesy ’80s glam era, and other times it was filled with synth lines carrying more of a witch-house industrial eeriness to them.

I doubt that Grimes is intentionally trying to pull from opposite sides of the spectrum at all times. Forcing such things usually never pans out without feeling artificially sterile. Grimes might just be a natural when it comes to getting crowds to dance their butts off to some crazy-ass music. The big crowd-pleaser of the night was the infectious “Oblivion,” and the spaced-out “Genesis” was a close runner-up. Some of the excitement may have also been for the white balloons released into the audience during the song’s intro. The energetic “Phone Sex,” a recent collaboration between Grimes and producer Blood Diamonds, felt like a ’90s pop hit on acid. The repeating line “please daddy, take me home,” made for an appropriate song to conclude the night. It sounded almost like it was coming from a frightened little girl that had had enough of a haunted house. So was this show meant to feel like an early Halloween celebration or is Grimes really just that out there? Regardless, it was a fun world to live in for the night. —Dan Rickershauser

Photos courtesy of Andie Diemer |