Bear Grillz Canopy Club Concert Review0
For the die-hard EDM fans of Central Illinois, Bear Grillz’s stop for his ‘The Void’ tour in Urbana last Tuesday was ‘one of the best I’ve ever seen’, says Canopy Club regular Andrea M. Members of the crowd confirmed after the show that Grillz brought everything they had come for: his trademark sample choices, always interesting, eclectic, and hilarious; the relentless injection of wildly intense, earth-shattering bass drops and enough energy to keep the crowd alive for seemingly endless hours of head-banging.
The Canopy Club’s Big Room quickly filled at the start of the night, soon packed tight with eager fans from far and wide to witness the madness about to ensue. The show began with seamless transitions between openers wooli, P0gman, and Midnight Tyrannosaurus, who all brought their own distinctive brand of EDM to the stage but nevertheless progressively hyped up the crowd with tastes of what was to come.
The three performances brought the sense of anticipation in the audience to a peak with Bear Grillz’s dramatic entrance, an hour and a half into the night; the infamous bear costume was met with flashes of strobe lights and the unrestrained cheers of the crowd. One audience member vividly recalls the setup of the stage for his performance, a ‘futuristic honeycomb’ with visuals pulsing along with the tempo of each track, pairing with the flashing lights to create a thrilling scene for us in the crowd.
Grillz’s set ranged from downtempo beats to high intensity, wobbling uprisings, always culminating in massive drops that never failed to electrify the audience. Fans in the crowd agreed that the intensity of the bass and the elated atmosphere in the room could only be fully comprehended by attending the performance live; hearing about Grillz’s shows from friends and listening to the tracks online couldn’t do it justice.
What I found most interesting about Grillz as an artist, however, was the tongue-in-cheek nature of his songs; several of his tracks used samples from Rick and Morty, one concertgoer commenting that his songs were almost ‘filthy’ as the comic samples played off of in his songs added a satirical element to the set. It seems that Bear Grillz’s appeal lies in his ability to transform these sound bites into supremely danceable songs that create a sense of unity in his crowd through laughter, dance, and euphoria.
Conversations with audience members later that night gave me the impression that the majority of the people there were very familiar with Grillz’s work, so that a rush of excitement swept over the packed room as the chorus of his most popular song, ‘Fuck Bitches, Get Honey’ played out over the speakers. The performer encouraged the audience to chant along with it, leading to a great highlight of the night when the track broke from the chorus and careened into the familiar thrill of jarring rhythm and synths. All in all, those that attended emphasized to me that Grillz gave them an incredible night fueled by the power of his songs to intertwine every person in the crowd in a chaotic, riotous harmony, an experience that they weren’t soon to forget.