The lights strobe, fog machines blast. Hands are raised, feet are bouncing to the thundering bass. Everyone is crowded and sweating, but it’s part of the unique experience of seeing Gryffin live. It’s Wednesday, November 20, and Columbia’s music venue, The Senate, is the place to be.
The Los Angeles- based DJ is nearing the end of his GRAVITY II tour, which corresponds to his debut full-length album. Playing every song on the album, as well as multiple covers, his 22 song setlist lasted well over an hour— excluding his opening acts.
BUNT. performed first, lighting up the stage at the unusually particular time of 7:52 p.m. Bopping to the beat of their remixes, the German duo’s energy level was sky-high. Unfortunately, it looked like the few people present could have ridden together on a school bus— an amount that left a drastic amount of empty floor space in The Senate’s venue capacity of 1200. The contrast between BUNT.’s high energy set and the crowd’s disinterest created an atmosphere of sheer awkwardness.
Luckily, as time crept by, people continued to filter in. By the time that the second opening act, The Knocks, took over the stage, enough people had arrived to make dancing feel comfortable— instead of like a spectator sport. Finally, Gryffin decided to show up, and the rave turned to full blast.
From the giant electronic screen to the multiple dimensions of lighting and a generous amount of smoke machine artwork, Gryffin’s set was electrifying. To top everything off, he spent the entire concert playing the guitar, piano and keyboards— not stuck behind his soundboard— and he brought a full band on stage. This extra level of interaction was a welcome change to his first two openers and brought the crowd’s “hype” level even higher.
Aesthetically, the best song of the night was “Remember” by Gryffin and ZOHARA. Not only was the set one of the most colorful, but during the climax, he altered his song. While a new beat helped build anticipation and the screen and lights strobed uncontrollably, Gryffin screamed “one… two… one, two, three, four.” Suddenly, the venue went black. And just as quickly, the kaleidoscope was back, joined by towers of smoke shooting into the sky.
Even for a short person, whose view was continuously hidden and distorted as the crowd danced, it was a scene— no, a night— to remember.
Not only will you leave a Gryffin concert feeling giddy and alive, you’ll have the shoestains to prove it.