By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)
Well, I can openly admit that I never expected to be writing this review in my lifetime. Not that I’m not a fan of Death Grips (you’ll find it’s quite the opposite due to the repeated presence on my AOTY lists), more so that the experimental hip hop rock band seem to have a dangerous habit of lying: whether it be saying they’re done with music only to release a new album or to announce gigs before cancelling them, there was a dreaded sense of anxiety that filled the SWG3 last night. Would this act be able to meet the expectations that were fuelled by years and years of waiting for them to play in Scotland? Would they delve into their back catalogue to treat long time fans? Would they even show up?
Thankfully, all of these worries were laid to rest as MC Ride and co. appeared on stage to an almighty applause, accompanied by seizure inducing pink neon lights that flooded the stage. Death Grips are well known for their bodacious, audio tearing sound that fuses elements from various genres that manages to keep them constantly unpredictable and fresh. Kicking things off with Whatever I Want (Fuck Who’s Watching), a whirlwind of heavy guitars and drums, the band had the crowd in the palm of their sweaty, leather draped hands.
The gig featured tracks that spanned the entirety of Death Grips career. From the paranoia drenched stylings of No Love, Deep Web to the hostile and aggressive Exmilitary and a large helping of their latest record Bottomless Pit, a frankenstine’s monster of sorts, no stone was left unturned and every track felt naturally adapted to a live setting. Ride’s vocal delivery was as flexible as fans have become accustomed to with his hollering and screeching being perfectly accompanied by band mates Zach Hill and Andy Morrin on drums/synthesiser and guitar/keyboards respectively. Dark, psychotic, sinister and intense, the band’s presence was one that was hard not to be in total admiration of.
There were no moments of silence and very little crowd interaction, no doubt due to Ride’s well known apprehensiveness though this didn’t detract from the unrelenting pace of the gig which was essentially hit after hit, no chance to stop to catch your breath or care that you were drenched in questionable liquids. The chances of Death Grips returning to Scotland are slim to none so it’s fitting that the band made the gig one that everyone in attendance will remember for the rest of their lives.