Vancouver-born Claire Boucher, aka Grimes, brought her Ac!d Reign tour to Glasgow’s O2 ABC to play her first Scottish gig since 2012. Boucher’s constant onstage energy already makes her a perfect match for the famous Glasgow crowds. The O2 ABC was packed to capacity by fans of all different genres brought together by Grimes’ unique blend of electro-pop with influences of everything from R&B to metal to K-Pop resulting in one of the most diverse fan-bases around and making her one of the most exciting artists today.
Opening the show was friend of Grimes and one to watch, HANA. Bringing stunning vocals and catchy hooks in the form of her brilliant track “Clay”, atmospheric and haunting “Underwater”, and a couple of new songs from her upcoming EP “HANA” available March 25th.
The reaction from the crowd the moment Grimes popped up with a smile from behind her kit was immense, typical of a Glasgow crowd, and set the tone for the night. She jumps right in with crowd-pleaser “Genesis” from her 2012 record “Visions” and joyfully skips around the stage delighting the crowd.
She took a moment to catch her breath and address the fans, then her seemingly nervous disposition and soft spokenness was juxtaposed by the piercing screams in her next track, “Scream”, a collaboration with Taiwanese rapper, Aristophanes, incorporating heavy metal bass lines and beautifully raw vocals. Despite being performed in Russian, something resonated within the crowd as they reciprocated every ounce of energy Boucher threw at them, screaming together in a wolfpack-like fashion.
As she dives straight into “Venus Fly” something has to be said for the stamina of both the artist and crowd as the energy never drops despite how much exertion these tracks demand from both parties. The slower paced, dreamy feel of “Butterfly” is a welcome breath of fresh air from the heavy basslines and intense light show.
Her duo of extremely talented dancers add another dimension to the show, rhythmically twirling ribbons and brandishing plastic swords while executing stunning choreography. Also joined onstage by opening act, HANA, they were a force to be reckoned with. An example of girl power at it’s finest. Other highlights included “Go”, a collaboration with Blood Diamonds which got the crowd frenzied with face melting bass drops that felt far too big for the venue to handle. “World Princess part II”, which made its live debut on this tour, with it’s bouncy 8-bit synths and airy vocals also appeared to be a fan favourite.
Boucher announced she doesn’t do traditional encores due to stress but the crowd roared in support and were clearly more than ready for her brilliant closing track (and one of her favourites to perform) “Kill V. Maim”. Both the crowd and Boucher used any energy they had left to conclude what had been an hour of somewhat controlled, beautiful chaos. Grimes left Glasgow wide-eyed, exhausted, and excited to see what she’ll do next.
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Review by Emma Rodger | @polkadotphoenix