Sunday, November 3, 2013

Grizmatik, A Trak, Two Fresh, and Exmag - Halloween @ 1st Bank Center - Broomfield, CO (Review)

A Review By: Kenny Emmer
First off let me just say that this was one hell of a weekend. I had an amazing time and I hope everyone else had as good a Halloween weekend as I. I've been to the 1st Bank Center a lot over the years and have come to love it more and more every time i'm there. 
1st Bank Center During Grizmatik
For the past couple years, The 1st Bank Center has held massive Halloween shows. Starting in 2011 with the "Spooky Tings Tour" featuring Skrillex, Skream & Benga, Nero, and 12th Planet. And again in 2012 with the Haunted House/Spooky Tings Tour featuring a back-to-back set by Skrillex and Knife Party, Tommy Trash, Kill the Noise, Baauer, and Zane Lowe. Well this year we were graced by Grizmatik, A Trak, Two Fresh, and Exmag. You can pretty much expect that each year, Broomfield, CO will lay host to an incredible Halloween show. I've come to appreciate that booming sound system and mesmerizing light show at the 1st Bank Center more and more each year. 
Exmag is a side project featuring 5 Brooklyn based producers, including Gramatik himself. And they rocked the arena right from the start with their rock infused electronic beats. It was a groovy start to a rowdy night. Two Fresh took to the stage dropping hiphop fire and heavy trap beats. And one particular guest appearance really took me by surprise. Two Fresh brought on stage Issa Dash and Ak from Brainfeeder crew's (Flying Lotus' record label) own Underachievers rap duo to perform their own track "Herb Shuttles." The Underachievers were in town for their own tour which i'd be attending the very next night. However I did not expect to see an appearance by them at Grizmatik's show. It was very satisfying. Before A Trak came on, a costume contest took place on stage and the winners were crowned. A Trak came on stage dressed as what he calls his "diners, drive-ins, and dives" costume - A cheesy Hawaiin beach shirt, blonde super-saiyan-like wig, goatee, and sunglasses. It was all very random and kind of hilarious.  I've seen A Trak perform 3 times in a little over a month, each time his set was very similar. He opened with the same tracks and did a lot of the same scratch routines. But it's not completely identical, he played different songs throughout. Don't get me wrong, I love it every time. And i'd gladly see him spin again. A Trak is a real DJ, who has crafted his technique and mastered so many elements of live mixing since he was very young. And it blows my mind he isn't even in DJMag's top 100 DJ's list. A set by A Trak is never your typical EDM set. That dude can scratch, sample, and mix wonders around you. And I never get tired of it. 

The Light Show During Grizmatik
Finally, Grizmatik took to the stage and Colorado erupted. It was groovy, full of soul, and rowdy as all hell. Eric Mendelson's guitar riffs and wales and Griz's smooth saxophone echoed throughout the auditorium and people could be seen nodding their heads, waving their hands, and rocking their air guitar all around the arena. Grizmatik is a rare experience. They produce such a strong blend of acid rock, classic disco, and modern electronic that entices the crowd in such a way that the energy could be felt so immensely throughout the venue. They provide such a beautiful stream of consciousness that mesmerizes and hypnotizes you. They played everyone's favorite hits by Griz, Gramatik, and the collaborated duo themselves, as well as a few hard hitting, trap, electro, and dubstep tracks. 
Grizmatik Tearing Down the House
I won't forget their hilarious vocal segment, in which they brought out a chubby, soulful R&B singer to woo the crowd over with his smooth dance moves and passionate singing, despite his somewhat clumsy behavior as he bounced around the stage and fell to his knees several times in front of the DJ Booth. The crowd and Grizmatik were in hysterics watching this guy. I hadn't laughed that hard at a show in a while. Grizmatik was a mind blowing experience and I cannot wait for them to come back to Colorado. I can assure you they will satisfy your musical needs in more ways than one. No group has combined the elements of electronic, rock, disco, and hip-hop the way these guys have, and the experience is unforgettable. Yet another successful Halloween night at 1st Bank Center thanks to Grizmatik, A Trak, Two Fresh, and Exmag.

GrizMatik in Front of the Crowd at 1st Bank Center


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