Gramatik_MinnesotaFor us Chicagoians, Gramatik presents: The Coil with special guest Minnesota and Manic Focus presented by React, SIlver Wrapper and Jam Productions was one of the most anticipated shows of the winter.  On this special night, Gramatik premiered their new stage setup to Chicago, as well as played unreleased Gramatik and Grizmatik tracks.  My friends and I arrived at the Riviera theatre about 20 people deep and enjoyed the show from the balcony.  The view from upstairs almost makes you feel like you are on stage with the artist, but then again their isn’t really a bad view in the place.

Minnesota at The Riviera

After seeing Minnesota headline on his Altered States tour, I knew he would be a perfect opener for the Gramatik show in Chicago.  His new album is filled with wobbly bass lines and hip-hop samples that I believe create a party vibe that compliments Gramatik’s sound perfectly.  Christian played songs off his Altered States EP  including, “Indian Summer featuring G. Jones, “To The Floor” and “Yoga Pants.”  What I loved about this set was the way he seamlessly connected old and new tracks creating mash-ups of his own music that had everyone in the crowd dancing.  He closed out his set with a new untitled track that had a beautiful piano melody combined with soaring synths that quickly became one of those songs that just makes you feel good.  This was a great opening set that didn’t try to outshine what was to come.

Gramatik at The Riviera

During the break, a couple of us took some shots and refilled our drinks.  We quickly returned to the balcony and the curtains opened.  If you have never seen Gramatik before, their stage setup usually is pretty simple.  Simple is the furthest thing I can call this new setup.  To me,  the stage looked more like three huge jelly fish connected together with large LED screens, rather than coils, but whatever you want to call it is cool with me.  Denis Jasarevic is the musical genius who is “Gramatik” accompinied by Ales on guitar.  This duo is known for combining different sounds and tracks from mutiple time periods (30’s, 50’s, 60’s 70’s etc) that create a musical collage, of sorts.  There sound incorporates Funk, Glitch-Hop, Dub-step, Hip-Hop and pretty much any other genre that will get you groovin’.  This night, the crowd looked like it was its own, living, breathing organism moving as one.  There wasn’t a single person there who wasn’t getting down and you could tell that Gramatik was feeding off this energy.  The set list played this night was as follows:

1. Who Got Juice (The Coil Intro Version)
2. Just Jammin’
3. Break Loose (Savages Edition Feat. Nigel Hall)
4. Hit That Jive
5. Dungeon Sound
6. Lonely & Cold
7. Make You Better
8. So Much For Love
9. The Uprising
10. Red Baron Of WW3
11. Defying Gravity
12. Expect Us (Unreleased “The Age Of Reason” track)
13. Take It Back
14. Blood Ties
15. Talkbox Intended
16. Never That Easy
17. Fist Up
18. Digital Liberation Is Mad Freedom
20. Born Ready
21. Kill Paris – To A New Earth (Gramatik Remix)
22. 23 Flavors
23. Bluestep
24. Illusion of Choice
25. Brave Men (Unreleased “The Age Of Reason” track)

This was one of the best shows I have ever see Gramatik play.  It was amazing to see how the crowd was so in tune with an artist who was playing songs that they’ve never heard before.  Gramatik has come an extremely long way since the last time I’ve seen them, mostly due to the fact that he is a perfectionist in all aspects of his music and live show.  The dedication he puts forth towards his music and his fans is proven when he puts on an incredible show like this.   Look out for Gramatik’s new album “The Age of Reason” set to come out this spring!

Gramatik @ The Riviera

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