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            Death Grips might be one of the most polarizing bands I listen to. You either hate them or you absolutely love them. When I show someone who doesn’t know them for the first time, they are always shocked. The band is labeled an experimental hip-hop group, made up of rapper Stefan Burnett (MC Ride), Drummer and Producer Zach Hill, and co-producer Andy Morin. However the musical combination they create is somewhere in between electronic, hip-hop, and scream-o, with metal-esque drums over distorted bass-heavy beats and a rapper that yells more than he speaks. I, for one, have loved the group since I started listening to them this time last year. However their concert was, in a word, disappointing.

            Perhaps I didn’t quite know what I was in for. When my friends and I were on the train, they all were talking about how aggressive the mosh pit was going to be. I assumed that I would easily be able to handle what ensued, somewhat taking the lead and telling my friends how to take care of themselves if they ended up having a hard time. However I, the moment the show started, pushed my way out of the general admission pit as if my life depended on it. I was cowering in the first non-moshing tier of general admission before the first song was even over. Amongst the events I witnessed from my new birds-eye view included a girl getting knocked-out by a flipping stage-divers Doc Martin boot and three separate people vomiting as soon as they got to the clearing at the base of the stairs. It was terrifying.

            But beyond my own crowd-created fears, the general presentation of the show was disappointing as well. There were absolutely no visuals (come on, their music videos would have been GREAT material), and only incredibly minimal lights that altered between two colors. Yes, they say that they design their shows to be deliberately minimal (like in their interview with Pitchfork). But this production wasn’t minimalist, it was just boring. The sound was muddled and overwhelmingly loud, to the point where it was hard for me to distinguish what song was playing. I like Death Grips because of the delicate balance they display between artistic quality and brutal intensity. However in their live performance, they lost that element all together.

            What did make the show worthwhile, however, was the talent of the individual performers themselves. MC Ride could have not been a more charismatic frontman, convulsing and fist-pumping with so much energy that I am shocked he didn’t faint. Drummer Zach Hill plays faster, more precisely, and with more rock-star intensity than anybody I’ve seen before (my mind was blown). And the on-stage producer Andy Morin, although possibly given the most difficult performance material, kept up with the rest. They could not have possibly given more in their performance, and the crowd without a doubt fed off that energy.

            Overall, the quality of the performers themselves kept the show running, but I don’t know if I would purchase tickets to see them live again. If you’re a huge fan or maybe going to Camp Flognaw and have them on your festival lineup this year, they’re worth seeing. I am glad that I got seeing them live out of my system. But if you’re going to sacrifice $65 for a ticket like I did, your money is better spent somewhere else.

-Veronica Irwin (Hunnypot Editor at Large) 





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