Venue: The Bee @ Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: 12th March 2013
Promoter: Freeform Sdn Bhd
Review by: Ee Liza
Special Thanks: Freeform Sdn Bhd and The Bee teams
If you were to stroll in to The Bee Publika at around 9.15pm Tuesday, March 12th, you would have felt like you were transported to a location with a combination of Middle Earth where Enya’s Lord of the Rings vibe was evident, which further evolved into a Moulin Rouge play – elephants, penniless sitar player and all, with a distinct cameo of laser lights from Tron. This display was the result of the alluring Ami Dang (who would later sing back up for Grimes) as she kept the crowd occupied. It was evident however, that patience was running thin when it was announced that Claire Boucher aka Grimes, would be running late due to a bad case of food poisoning. It didn’t help that songs on The Bee’s playlist were repeated. Finally though, three hours after doors opened, a rather grim yet energetic Grimes walked up on stage, and the crowd fell into a unison hush of forgiveness when she charmingly apologised for falling sick and kicking off the show late.
With the use of synthesizers, along with an amiable display of loop and delay pedals, it was evident that the opening number, Symphonia IX brought everyone into a sort of dream-like state. This continued on for some time until the unfortunate event where she had to bravely excuse herself and run off stage to purge. It honestly made the whole show more endearing, as it was difficult not to find any fault with Grime’s amazing set, despite it being cut short.
To watch Grimes tinker and multi-task with her gear and instruments, I should be able to come up with a better scenario than this, but all I can come up with right now is the image of Tommy from Rugrats as he brilliantly figures out a way to fix things. It is the same sort of pull that you get as you see her clearly in her place to work around the beats that seem to lull you peacefully into a sort of movement. A movement that could develop into a canvas that allows you to paint a picture in, or even a movement that could actually lead straight down to your tap-tapping toes. At some point, two dancers came on stage to prove just that as they break out some moves.
After a cameo appearance by a bucket that she held onto dearly just in case she had to go, Grimes finally played the crowd favourite, Genesis starring bubbles that were blown in the air. Grimes performing in Malaysia felt like a very promising showcase for the future of electronic music fronted by a talented female. So kudos to the Upfront Series once again for providing the opportunity for us to glimpse into another dimension of music. I am convinced that Grimes managed to inspire more than one person in the crowd to go home and play around with various sounds that could spell out an unlikely but promising future.