The Floozies, Pegboard Nerds and GRiZ
November 15, 2013
Over the last year or so, there has been a recent trend of several electronic dance music artists experimenting with live instrumentation and analog recording methods as a way to add an interesting dynamic and texture to their recorded sound. And of course, it adds a compelling element to their live shows that in many cases wasn’t there to begin with. Detroit, MI-based producer (and saxophonist) GRiZ continues that trend of electronic dance music artists experimenting with analog recording techniques and live instrumentation; in fact, on his latest effort, Rebel Era the overall sound on the album consists of smoothed out beats, guitars, dusty, samples from old, soul albums and saxophone squawk done in a way that sounds both extremely contemporary and kind of old – as though it could have possibly been released in the late 80s/early 90s.
And although GRiZ performs with a high energy, bouncing across the stage frenetically, there were several points during his two hour set that didn’t coalesce all too well. Although I love Parliament Funkadelic and old school soul as much as anyone, but when GRiZ included them in his set, it honestly felt out of place and unnecessary. His set would have been the same set without their inclusion.
Although I actually like GRiZ’s sound, his live set manages to reveal some weaknesses in the material. in some way, it lacks a bit of originality and could easily be compared to that of acts like All Good Funk Alliance, the Fort Knox Five and others – but appealing to an audience that will likely appeal to those groups. That in itself, isn’t a terrible thing, especially if it introduces fans to other bands and their influences. Still, GRiZ has an uncanny knack for crafting a catchy hook, and in some way that ability means that big things could be in his future; however, unfortunately, I don’t think he’s quite ready for a two hour feature set.
That same level of frustrating lack of originality also sadly plagued the night’s openers the Floozies and Pegboard Nerds – but in different ways. The Floozies sound seemed heavily influenced by 80s soul and funk and was extremely similar to GRiZ – at points, their songs sounded exactly like songs I have remembered back in the 80s.
Pegboard Nerds’ sets was extremely loud electronica that wasn’t very original and quickly became boring and kind of cloying. All in all very frustrating; however, the fairly young crowd at Terminal 5 got dug them and in the end that may be what counts.
The crowd going wild for the night’s music.
For these photos and the rest of the photos from this night, check out the Flickr set here: