Sasquatch! Music Festival 2016, Day 4: Grimes

Sasquatch, Live Reviews
05/31/2016
Jacob Webb
photos by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

From the second Claire Boucher steps on the main stage at Sasquatch! Music Festival, it seems as if there are two versions of Grimes present during her shows. One, perhaps more reflective of the artist than her art, is the sincere, enthusiastic, slightly awkward person that speaks on the mic in between songs. ("I did this next track with my friend Aristophanes who's a really great Taiwanese rapper but she's not here so I'm going to do the Russian version of the song if that's cool with you. Um... okay... yeah!" Boucher hurriedly said in the span of a few seconds.) The other is a fearless, intense, mesmerizing performer whose stage presence couldn't be more different than the aforementioned person. With HANA now backing her up musically onstage, Boucher is spending less time triggering samples and twiddling knobs and more time engaging with the crowd with her backup dancers, running through uniquely choreographed routines while alternating between emphatically singing and unleashing a shattering scream. Art Angels, her latest LP, which made up the majority of the set, is an incredibly diverse and innovative piece of pop music, but on that crowded mainstage on Monday evening, it felt like an hour-long bass-driven anthem whose idiosyncrasies – Grimes is certainly a big-font festival artist but her commercial prospects remain far smaller than her internet fame – were only magnified in power when they were upped in volume.

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