Who is Henry Steinway? That's a question we ask ourselves everyday... He took off as a producer of electro house under the Clockwork moniker but soon hit home in the hearts of Americans when he began his career as the lord and savior of 808s and high hat triplets. RL Grime came to light in 2011 and since then he has taken the scene by storm as one of the most innovative bass producers around. After performing one of the best festival sets at Day of the Dead last Halloween then later releasing his debut album Void, its clear that Henry's been making big moves for his career in trap.
All the hype has led to this performance at arguably one of the best EDM venues in Los Angeles. Hometown shows always hold the most energy because of how reflective they are of an artist. There was definitely a time when Henry was passing by this venue as an aspiring producer and now here he is in 2015 with a sold out headliner show. In honor of this we were blessed to have a full two hour set from RL Grime as he tore it up for the Los Angeles stop of the massive Void Tour.
Tommy Kruise opened the night up setting the proper mood with chill trap music as everyone flooded the ballroom looking venue. The theme of the night was generally trap, a genre that has made a significant impact on EDM by its influence from hip hop. Trap music has blown up significantly over recent years and everyone at this venue knew we were about to get some of the best for the night. Tommy's set fit perfectly because it did not consist of heavy bangers but instead it was more laid back and trippy, perfect for those who enjoyed a nice pre-game session beforehand. By the time he was done the venue was already packed with fans lining the balcony to await Lunice.
In complete honesty I can admit that the majority of people there including myself were almost as excited for Lunice as for Grime. In case you 're wondering who Lunice is you might better recognize him as 1/2 of the legendary trap duo TNGHT. Along with Hudson Mohawke, Lunice had a hand in the explosion of trap with tracks like Goooo and Higher Ground off of their EP. Since their breakup in 2013 both artists have been putting in work building a reputation of their own with an already cult-like following to show for it.
The lights went out as some massive ambient music filled the air giving off a strange vibe. Slowly a creature crept onto the stage, a man with a pitch black cloak made his way frantically running around the stage. Finally as he stepped behind his MPC he introduced himself and finally hit us with some real trap sh*t. There was a good amount of intro time for the song he played but when it finally dropped he jumped on the middle of the stage and dropped the cloak revealing his face as strobe lights blinded the club along with the beat. He continued for about 20 minutes with straight hip hop trap as opposed to the buildups and drops of EDM trap. Every beat was heavier than the next and it set a good vibe as a supporting act without being to overwhelming. There were a handful of moments where Lunice showcased his newer taste by dropping some heavy G-House. He had the crowd going ham from start to finish and it was a great selected act to open for Henry.
The pyramid light structure on stage was finally ready to come alive as the lights dimmed for RL Grimes' set. Waves of dreary fog shot out of the DJ booth as bass hit the venue in disturbingly massive waves. Finally Henry appeared mixing from Void's theme into Scylla, a single off of his record. He didn't bother wasting much time because right after this beautiful intro he went right into Club Action double dropping it with NYMZ's BINGBONG. The rest of the night was filled with more ridiculous drops and edits that felt different and surprising throughout the set. He sprinkled in all the best tracks from Void and cranked out tons of crowd pleasures and classics. He had some moments of dark strangeness that fit his persona perfectly and he was always able to resolve it with great song selection and flaming mixing abilities. He even brought back some of his older tracks like Trap On Acid mashing it up full on with DJ Snake's Birthday Song. When it came to making combinations of music RL Grime definitely had an ear that impressed us drop after drop.
About an hour and a half into his set Ty Dolla $ign came onto the stage with his crew as he performed some of his hit songs including Paranoid from DJ Mustard's Ketchup album. Right off the bat this feature of live hip hop really sparked up the crowds interest because it delivered something different than the hours of DJs we had been watching that night. Ty was able to hype the crowd up even more turning it all onto another level. As if that was not good enough YG made an appearance which pretty much blew everyone away with a wild performance of his best songs including My N*gga, Who Do You Love, and Toot It And Boot It. After stepping up and completely killing it, the rappers handed it back to Henry to finish off the night.
RL Grime has always been one of our favorite DJs and catching a full two hours at this headlining show just confirmed the fact that the man can't do no wrong. His presence is always of something heavy and mysterious because he has the ability to mix your favorite house party jam with near perfection but enough imperfection for us to believe that he is human. The man knows how to turn a party up, we've seen that since his Clockwork days, but doing it as RL Grime just gives back something more ominous. His album Void is clearly an artistic concept of a dark future, so placing these themes throughout a set full of club hits merges his world with ours in a truly unforgettable way. We're extremely happy to have had the chance to attend this show and we wanna thank his team for the invite!
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