Grimes live in Manila

Last Thursday, Grimes was in the country for a one-night only performance at the Hard Rock Cafe in Makati. I first heard of Grimes a couple of weeks ago through my high school friend, who I recently re-connected with since going our separate ways in college. He introduced me to Oblivion, and I was hooked. Then after a few days, I found out that she will be performing here. Perfect.

I managed to get a ticket because I will be featuring the concert for When In Manila. I also wrote about the concert the previous week in Supreme. I recently started going to gigs and learned that music is better listened to live, and I found myself appreciating genres I never thought I’d like. For example, rock really isn’t my thing. But when you listen to Wilderness perform live, it’s like you’re another person. The same thing happened when I watched Azealia Banks perform at the anniversary party for Magnum. To me, it’s more about feeling the music than hearing it.


Anyway, Grimes was more up my alley because I love electronica. Grimes, or Claire Boucher, does not make your ordinary music and is in a genre of her own. Her official genre is indietronica, but The Guardian once said that “by sounding a little like everything you’ve ever heard, the whole sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard.” Her sound is “post-internet,” a mix of synthpop and a breathy and ethereal voice that mixes perfectly to create an electro dream. She sounds a bit like Björk and a bit like Enya.

Her latest album Visions is a work of art. It has been lauded by The New York Times as one of the most impressive albums of 2012. The single Oblivion is Grimes’ most successful release so far, and was named #1 song of 2012 on Pitchfork. Much of the album is just as great, with favorites GenesisVowels = Space And Time, and Skin providing a solid backbone for the type of music Grimes plays. Curiously, she made the entire album on Apple’s GarageBand.


Grimes’ concert at the Hard Rock Cafe was a riot. She played most of the songs on Visions, and even if she only played eight songs over a set that lasted less than an hour, the energy was out of this world. Grimes opened the set with Symphonia IX and the crowd got wilder as she progressed, singing Circumambient, Nightmusic, and Be A Body. When she performed Oblivion, everybody cheered and went crazy. By the time she closed with Phone Sex, I was already part of my friends’ mosh pit and dancing along with the crowd.

The day after her show, she tweeted “manila was out of this world i will absolutely come back to manila and i suggest to everybody else that they go to manila one day. ”

*With excerpts from my article at When In Manila here. A link to my feature on Supreme here. Photos are by Stephen Lavoie, courtesy of Kind Assault. Follow Grimes on Twitter here and Kind Assault here.

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