Sasquatch 2013, Day 4: Death Grips

Death Grips

photos by Morgen Schuler

For being as strange as they are – and in fact they looked possessed on stage this weekend – I have an awfully easy time listening to Sacramento experimental rap group Death Grips. While I know some purposefully avoided the Bigfoot stage during their hellish and angry set, I also watched many flock to it, ready to mosh, to dance, to shout out painfully aggressive lyrics in sync with the possibly manic Stefan Burnett. It had been raining all day – cold drops soaking into the heads of the audience for hours – and Death Grips spare and intense set brought the hot feeling of Sacramento to the wet PNW. Halfway through the first song the mic was dropped and both members left the stage in silence. After about a minute it became clear that they wanted the keyboard, the only instrument set off to the edge of the stage, adjusted – that’s the kind of weird thing you would never expect from Death Grips till it was happening. Does it really matter how high the keyboard is when everyone is expecting you to possibly smash and/or flip it over? Either way, they picked up from that moment, with Burnett shedding his shirt in favor of a wiry and tattooed torso while assaulting the audience, and the keyboardist in all sleek black bobbing his body with such feverish intensity he began to resemble a cartoon rather than a human. Their set slammed on without stop after the initial moments of confusion, ending just as quickly as it began, mic dropped on the ground, bags grabbed, noise done.

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