After seeing GRiZ play, what many (including Grant) thought would be his last show at Red Rocks, back in 2019, I felt a sense of sadness at the end of an era mixed with a feeling of excitement for what bigger projects we had to look forward to on the horizon.
Obviously, no one could have predicted last year’s pandemic and its harsh impact on the live music community. GRiZ managed to be one of the most active and relevant electronic music figures by engaging with his fans through live streams, EP releases, and an eventual album release. It wasn’t long before live music was back and GRiZ announced he would make his inaugural return to the legendary Red Rocks.
I’ve been fortunate enough to witness every single one of GRiZ’s Red Rocks shows dating back to 2015. I looked forward to those events every year and I knew this return would be special. He did the unthinkable and decided he was going to play three entirely unique sets, with no openers. Just a full day of GRiZ.
The first set of the night was a Chasing The Golden Hour special perfectly timed for the final hours of sunset. As the music began to play, GRiZ surprised everyone by appearing right above the sound booth with his sax in hand. He played pieces from all three CTGH catalogs including “Solo” with ProbCause joining GRiZ in the middle of the stands. They used the mellow, jazzy vibes to butter up the crowd just before nightfall.
A short intermission later and he began his ‘10-’17 set which will always have a special place in my heart because it has the power to transport the energy right back to those first couple years of experiencing GRiZ Rocks. He weaved in and out of Mad Liberation, Rebel Era, Say It Loud, and Good Will Prevail but the highlight for me was when he played “Better Than I’ve Ever Been” in its full entirety.
GRiZ has always managed to surround himself with incredible talent and was able to do so again as ProbCause and Chrishira Perrier captivated the audience with killer vocal performances. GRiZ’s saxophone melodies were joined by two stellar trumpet and trombone players whose instrumentations provided a crucial role in diversifying the overall production.
Just before closing out his second set of the night, GRiZ took to the mic to remind all the old GRiZ Fam to look around and appreciate how big the family has become since first playing here. That’s what this should all be about and that’s what makes a GRiZ show so special.
Another quick break in music came and went and so began the final Full Flex set. GRiZ’s production team was on their absolute A-game with the trippiest visual designs, insane laser shows, and mindblowing color arrays. The set spanned all of the Bangers.Zip EPs and Rainbow Brain and proved to us all that GRiZ and his team are in a class of their own. GRiZ took full advantage of the open platform to mix between heavy dubstep bangers, deep house cuts, and stunning remixes. Some more live performances from his band helped round things off and just like that, five hours of GRiZ came to an end.
The whole night felt like an unforgettable dream and it was made that much more special to see GRiZ return to his favorite stomping ground. It was a beautiful reminder that music can still be reminiscent, forward-thinking, and positive. While the world feels like it can be crumbling around us at times, it’s important to remember to find joy. GRiZ Rocks is pure joy and I’m honored to have been a part of it.