GRiZmas never fails to light up the holiday season, but this year’s 2-night extravaganza shined extra bright. The fourth annual event was one for the books as Grant Kwiecinski, aka GRiZ, returned to his home city of Detroit to cultivate the spirit of GRiZmas and deliver two nights of funk, soul, bass, and electro.
The sold out shows capped off the 12 Days of GRiZmas run, a series of special events and gatherings benefiting the Little Kids Rock nonprofit organization, which helps keep music in the lives of underserved children. From caroling to roller disco, bowling to bagels, and yoga to secret underground sets, there were plenty of ways to support the cause thanks to GRiZ and the All Good Records family.
Words really can’t fully wrap up the magic that went down December 15 & 16, but it’s worth a shot anyways…
On the 11th day of GRiZmas, the halls of historical Masonic Temple were decked to the fullest for the Detroit debut of the GRiZ live band. With support from Yoshi Flower and Sunsquabi, night 1’s live instrumental set kicked off the weekend with a focused attitude and sound. Having only been premiered once before at Red Rocks in Colorado, the GRiZ live band impressed fans with a funky fresh take on new and old classics — which rocked the night like never before.
Consisting of Grant and 13 others, the band seamlessly performed reimagined versions of classics like “Take It High” and “Feeling Fine.” Enter the absolutely mind-blowing 12-plus-minute adaptation of “Chasing Galaxies” that took everyone on an intergalactic journey into the intermission — a live music rarity nothing earth had ever heard before this very Merry GRiZmas. And, side note, if you haven’t seen “Fine Way to Die” in true rock band form, you haven’t really lived.
The overall presentation, from the song selection down to the nitty gritty details were all hashed out to near perfection. Minimalistic lighting emphasized the band and their instruments, making the right people shine in every sense of the word at exactly the right times. Audibly and visibly, the GRiZ live band proved itself as a force in the live music realm and worthy headliners of dance music.
After hours of entertainment, GRiZ officially introduced his band members, performed an encore, and delivered a heartfelt goodbye as he and his team prepared for a shift in tone to night 2’s proper GRiZ set. The only thing heard over those screaming “one more song” was the sound of those screaming “10 more songs.”
While visions from the live set still danced in our heads, GRiZ arrived in full force to deliver a quintessential set on night 2. Golf Clap and Boogie T had everyone on their feet for the advent of GRiZ’s performance.
The saxiest man in dance music came out of the gates swinging, with plenty of bass heavy, unreleased music as well as the expected bangers. The crowd was well aware GRiZ came to throw the funk down.
Well balanced, simplistic lighting was once again the vibe, a stark contrast from the erratic lasers that stole the show years prior. GRiZ with his sax and Muzzy Bearr with his guitar performed on opposite illuminated cubes, as imagery behind them reiterated the storylines deeply rooted in the music. The set soon gravitated to the funkiest classics, saxophone riffs, and melodic electro sounds that GRiZfam all know and love, with Good Will Prevail remixes sprinkled about.
Before night 2 wound down, GRiZ came on the mic to announce “Dubstep Party Time!” The room rocked and banged to new and old unreleased music, most notably the elusive “Put Your Hands Up for Detroit” remix to close out the performance. The night couldn’t end before bringing out a full choir for the encore. In proper GRiZ form, the show ended with an impactful message stressing the importance of community and looking out for one another during the turbulent times we’re living in.
This December marked an unforgettable chapter of the GRiZmas legacy. GRiZ, his team, and his fans have shown year after year that they are the embodiment of the Show Love, Spread Love mantra behind the music. The fourth annual GRiZmas brought the love and funk back to Detroit in equal and spectacular fashion, through an impressive showcase of talent and charity work.
It’s clear that GRiZ has been hard at work on new music and that there’s a bright future ahead for the live band in 2018. For those that missed this year’s festivities or those who simply can’t get enough, GRiZ’s next move is the New Years Eve 2-night run, Dec 30th & 31st, in Asheville, NC featuring the live band. GRiZ Live will also headline both weekends of Electric Forest 2018.
If the video below warms your heart and soul, definitely consider checking out GRiZmas next year!