Grieves, The Troubadour, September 2, 2017
It was right smack in the middle of Labor Day weekend and a heatwave had been consuming the Los Angeles area for nearly a week. And as the La Tuna Canyon fire raged on, another sort of sweltering explosion arrived onstage by the name of Grieves aka Benjamin Laub. It was a Rhymesayers night at the world famous Troubadour nightclub, and hip-hop took over the iconic stage in a vast and epic way. After dynamic, powerhouse appearances from opening acts Dem Atlas and Mink, it was time for the headlining Grieves to make his appearance – and the Troubadour was packed to the rafters awaiting the arrival of the massively talented, thoroughly intriguing hip-hop artist.
The lyrics as conveyed by Grieve are deeply personal and infinitely dark at times, but the atmosphere at the Troubadour was much more of party-like variety, with Grieves exuding a ton of warmth and wittiness with his clever in-between song banter. Whether it was the older cuts or selections from the recently issued Running Wild manifesto, the crowd was joyously singing along with Grieves on each and every song. All this, and many of the girls in the audience screamed in delight, with the type of adoration normally bestowed upon teen idols.
For fans of the glorious past of the Grieves catalog, tunes such as Sunny Side Of Hell, Bloody Poetry and Shreds would leave quite a devastating impression. Running Wild definitely shows an artist in his finest, most reflective hour, and Grieves presented new composition such as RX, A-Okay and Night Shift with a grand amount of style and depth. From the light-hearted to the dead serious, Grieves unveiled it all and more – taking the audience on a remarkable journey through the life of a truly passionate artist. With two solid backup musicians in tow who played both keyboards and guitars, the auditory soundscapes were just as glorious and ambitious as Grieves’ own vibrant poetry. Judging by the ardent reaction of the sold out audience, it won’t be long until we see the charismatic Grieves scorching up even larger venues all across the nation and beyond. Grieves remains one of the most exciting hip-hop performers on the scene today, and his inspiring live shows are not be to missed!
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)
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