Grieves @ First Avenue Mainroom
November 3rd, 2012
Seattle-based rapper Grieves paid a visit to Minneapolis over the weekend to play an all-ages show at the one and only First Avenue – his first time EVER at the historic venue. Accompanied by the multitalented Budo and a newcomer by the name of Connor on stage, the trio exceeded the expectations of die-hard Grieves fans with their energizing instrumentation and buoyant stage presence. What some people may not know about Grieves is that he is, in fact, a huge goofball. While his lyrics may lead listeners to believe that he is a downer, his charismatic stage persona showed another side of his personality. He came across as very at ease, engaging the audience with jokes as well as stories to provide background for some of his songs. Budo also chimed in from time to time, throwing in his two cents to add to the on-stage chemistry between the three performers.
Speaking of Budo, wow. That dude is talented. He played electric guitar, keys and the trumpet throughout the night, showcasing why Grieves decided to team up with him on the brink of their success several years ago. They are the perfect combo in the studio as well as on stage; Budo rocks the instruments while Grieves slays the microphone. Not only were his intricate lyrics performed with precision, his singing was pitch-perfect. The songs in their hour and a half set sounded just like the album versions, which can be considered quite an accomplishment in this day and age.
Grieves played tracks from all three of his albums, “Irreversible,” “88 Keys & Counting,” and his most recent release “Together/Apart.” I think it is safe to say that his older stuff received a vast amount of audience approval; the crowd went nuts and sang along for songs from “Irreversible,” such as “I Ate Your Soul” and “Scar Gardens.” His new stuff got the crowd moving as well. Fan favorites off his latest album like “Lightspeed” and the hit tune “On the Rocks” were very well done, and were much more exciting to hear in a live setting.
If you ever get the chance to see Grieves and Budo, do it! They are the real deal. Their performances are polished and natural. They clearly love what they do for a living, possessing an energetic outlook that allows them to connect with their audience instantly. If you have never heard of Grieves, you can check him out on the Rhymesayers website or at the independent, local hip-hop store Fifth Element in downtown Minneapolis.
Written by Luke Hochrein, Radio K volunteer