About Last Night: Canada's Grimes, Born Gold Deliver Full Sensory Experience at the Echo

It was a competitive Friday night in Los Angeles, but Montreal-based performance artist Claire Boucher was well-worth the price of admission and east-side trek.
John Londono

If there was a buzz of the week award, it would have to go to Vancouver-born Grimes, who played The Echo on a very competitive Friday night in Los Angeles. Among the simultaneous shows: South African freak-rappers Die Antwoord were at Club Nokia, indie stalwarts Cursive took the stage at Troubadour and the Eagle Rock Arts Center featured a two-show bow by darlings Atlas Sound

Claire Boucher, AKA Grimes, now based in Montreal, had the hipster quotient in a big way. Aside from your young East-siders, a sprinkling of older folks danced awkwardly under the disco ball as Grimes' big, booming and low bass literally shook the floor. 

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Grimes, who released the critically-acclaimed album Visions on Feb. 21, starts by looping her vocals to create the feel of Buddhist monks chanting with delicately-placed keyboard tones that tie it all together. Resembling a petite electronic pixie, she bounces around in an oversized camouflage jacket and RSWD beanie with a huge smile and a slew of hypemen (including her stepbrother) flanking her on stage.When Grimes started playing the track “Vanessa,” the crowd erupted in cheers as everyone in the tightly packed room began dancing and clapping.

Fellow Canadian natives and openers Born Gold helped out, too, on drum pads and keys. They were second on the bill and featured a tactile visual show which included a light up jacket that corresponded to pitch and tone of their electro pop. In essence, frontman Cecil Frena uses his body as an instrument. The keyboardist and electronic drummer also double as the avant-garde performance art show, wearing black glitter masks and floating Chinese fans with flickering lights through the complete darkness of the Echo.

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The Argentina-born, Bay Area-based Lady Tragik was up first, kicking off the night with some dirty dubstep mixes and a blend of tribal, hula and pop-lockin moves. It started out as a small crowd, but grew in energy as songs about heartbreak and one-night-stands seemed to spur instant reaction by all.  

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