By Hazen Witemeyer @Hazengirl
Grandtheft is the newest face in the secret invasion of Canadian DJs that includes Shaun Frank, DVBBS, A-trak, Zeds Dead and deadmau5. I think they might be the EDM version of the Justice League: I won’t say who are Superman and Batman (I have my theories) but for sure vocalist Delaney Jane is Wonder Woman.
In all candor, I went to see Grandtheft at Shaky Beats in Atlanta, GA, knowing little of his music except the exceptional track Easy Go (ft. Wonder Woman) which has received a ton of (U.S.) airtime this spring. He was playing on Sunday afternoon, on the smallest of the venue’s three stages, against Lost Kings (unforgivable conflict, Shaky Beats).
Following the set, my main question was: why he wasn’t headlining?
See, Grandtheft understands festival sets. He understands them so well, I think he and his Justice League colleagues might secretly have invented them.
Grandtheft’s set was fun and fresh, and influenced by a huge variety of genres. The music, underpinned by a heavy bass track and punctuated with plenty of crowd-pleasing drops, flowed through phases of music. First was mainstream EDM including Alesso and Tove Lo’s Heroes, and Easy Go. There was a large section that played with hip-hop influences and included his original tracks Mobbin’ and Keep It 100 (with Keys n’ Krates), plus classics like It’s Tricky and All the Way Up. We heard a little reggae flavor in Number One, a collaboration with Major Lazer (Grandtheft is signed by Mad Decent, Diplo’s record label BTW). There was some deep house, and even some classic rock in a Queen track. Then back to more mainstream dubstep/house like Say It, When We Were Young and The Light – for a strong finish.
In short, the performance was a journey. Or maybe, more like a ride at an amusement park: a well-choreographed, emotional experience that, as soon as it completes, you want to go jump in line to do it again. Maybe the EDM version of Batman The Roller Coaster (at Six Flags over Texas, of course – did you think EDM is my only hobby?).
After the set, Grandtheft came over to the rail, where some fans were already transitioning to the next DJ, and graciously took pictures with me, and listened politely while I gushed about how wonderful he was. Thanks Grandtheft for the great set and for offering up some fan love!
How do you feel about hip-hop influences in your festival sets? Let me know!