Looking all the part of a Japanese anime character — her hair flowing like she was about to be swallowed up in a tornado — the Vancouver-based Grimes took the crowd on a journey that jumped from place-to-place. On appearance alone, you wonder if Grimes is a gimmick, but moments into her FYF Fest set it makes you feel quite stupid for ever having suggested the thought.
You’d think that she was settling into a nice, slow style track with her Bjork-like vocals, and then in a flash, she’d turn up the beat and do a 180 degree turn from where she was seconds before. It was enjoyable in that you could never get too comfortable with where things were, as they could change at any instant.
It’s hard to understand exactly what is going on in many of the songs, but it mattered little. Watching Grimes jump around from spot-to-spot was like watching an artist paint a masterpiece, if that artist had the attention-span of a toddler with lots of shiny toys in front of them. Her looping and layering skills have to be seen to be believed, and it is nice to see her as one of those that isn’t just standing there and hitting a play button. Grimes brought out Blood Diamonds to do their song “Phone Sex”, one of the last few songs of the set. The crowd really dug it.
Her set definitely left one of the lasting impressions at day one of the fest. It also was a set that made me feel extremely old, and also really grossed out when one Jump Street looking dude hit on some under-16 girls. It was ALSO the set where you started to see really tore up people making their way to the back and possibly out of the fest. I could see how if you were hit hard by a day of day drinking and perhaps other stuff, Grimes’ set would be like taking a sledgehammer to the face.
I only hope those poor souls are feeling okay Sunday morning. Rally for round two.
Words: Mark E. Ortega
Above Photos: Crystin Wiegers for FYF Fest
Want more photos of FYF Fest 2014? Check out the photo gallery below of all the performing bands and artists!