Pitchfork Music Festival 2012, live review | Grimes
“She’s a Taurus, it’s her time,” prophesized a zealous fan before Grimes’ set. Taurus or not (she’s actually a Pisces), 2012 definitely seems to be Claire Boucher's year. From the release of her acclaimed album Visions to seemingly infinite Tumblr tags, the Internet is her oyster. Despite currently touring Canada with Skrillex and Diplo, Pitchfork must’ve made her an offer she couldn’t refuse; she skipped the Ottawa date in favor of the festival. But as perhaps the breakout buzz artist of the year, it would be sacrilege for her not to play.
After Danny Brown finished his odyssey of oral sex descriptions, hundreds of technicolor dye jobs swarmed the stage to observe Grimes' lengthy setup. Once she soundchecked her myriad of devices, the lady of the hour introduced her stagemate, Blood Diamonds. While he may have been cloaked to the nines, it was the two guest dancers with the scene-stealing ensembles. Decked out with fluorescent hair extensions and high-waisted leotard bottoms, Chicago’s own queens of Tumblr, Molly Soda and Claire Van Eijk, came to backup dance their way through the night. Their sometimes synchronized dancing was probably what would’ve been choreographed if Party Monster had cage dancers. Like a couple of extra video girls, the ladies gyrated their way through the evening, not to mention the occasional pause to pick a wedgie (hey, internet celebrities are just like us!).
While the dancers were popping booties left and right, Grimes was a pleasant alternative in both demeanor and dance moves. For someone who's attained so much hipster cred in so little time, it was really lovely to see such a down-to-earth performer. This earnestness was also present in her endearing flail-and-hop dancing, like an excitable kid or more carefree Elaine Benes. Throughout the set, she interrupted her sweet singing to unleash a loud animalistic growl into the mic, seemingly releasing some pent-up energy. Crowd pleasers like “Oblivion” and “Genesis” even inspired the use of a couple sparklers from the pit (much to the dismay of security).
Grimes rarely spoke between songs, but she did pause to introduce the new track co-written and produced by Blood Diamonds. “Phone Sex,” released in late May, featured a steel drum K-pop aesthetic that allowed for plenty of jumping and dancing among the audience. “Okay, this is our last song,” announced Grimes to a loud wave of protestation. “See, if there’s too much noise after a certain hour, people get in trouble for that stuff,” she explained, like a babysitter trying to make sense of the world’s unfairness to her ward. She appeased the masses with one final track off Visions, wrapping up an overall really fun set, bootypops and all.