It’s a brisk night in late fall in Colorado and the wind is biting as people rush into the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, CO. But the cold isn’t keeping the crowds from coming tonight – with producer RL Grime headlining and Jai Wolf as the main supporting act, dance music fans would be crazy to miss out on this show due to the weather.
The energy is already electric when Jai Wolf comes on to stage. I’ve seen the producer multiple times and can tell you with certainty, you never know what kind of set you’re going to see from him. That being said, his performances are always incredibly unique and engaging. His set tonight is no different and opens with a burst of positivity as he teases Indian Summer. The intro fades into his hit Starlight which he follows up with a brief bout on the mic to tell the crowd that he’s happy to be back in one of his “favorite cities.” Keeping the crowd on its toes, Jai Wolf expertly mixes Louis the Child’s floaty Love is Alive with the more aggressive Flume track Wall Fuck. The set takes flight from there. Jai Wolf moves with the crowd, pulling out favorites from all genres – Outkast to The Weeknd, Aluna George to Skrillex and of course an Odesza track makes a pointed appearance. In a moment that my musical soul has been waiting for since San Holo made a jump onto the scene, Jai Wolf mixes Light with Kanye’s All of the Lights. The crowd erupts. Much of the rest of the set is spent playing original music. The expected, but not unwelcome, closing with the full version of Indian Summer comes before the crowd is ready for the set to end.
Jai Wolf stuns as a dynamic opener
We get a brief moment of rest before the lights go down, signaling that RL Grime is about to take the stage. His opening is a slow burn that builds into an eruption. In a bold move, RL’s first full song is his new hit Era – the initial drop drives the audience to frenzy, the horns blaring and engrossing, like a dance music call to prayer. From this moment on, the crowd is mesmerized, along for the ride with no questions asked. Stay For It, the smash with Miguel is featured soon after. RL hits heavy with trap, rap and hip hop tracks – Jesus Walks, King Pin, Bodak Yellow.. The real surprise of the set though, is how every now and then, RL gives his audience a moment or two to breathe, to settle into a second of stillness before the next epic, dirty, bass-y drop. Another shock comes when RL Grime turns and plays standing drums live on stage, adding a further dimension to the performance.
Outside of the music, I’m thoroughly impressed by the light show. The lasers and visuals are entertaining and beautiful without distracting from the music. From nowhere, Circle of Life from The Lion King begins and as it builds, the stage rises in front of us. There, RL stands above the crowd, arms outstretched, as a memory from our childhoods melts into Core. At this height, RL continues to turn to the drums from time to time, then he finishes out the set with a variety of tracks – Raise Your Weapon, I Can’t Stop, Never Be Like You, The Hills.. Each song flows seamlessly into the next making for an expertly curated set that both pleases the audience and stays true to RL Grime’s sound.
The Nova Tour has come to a close, but I urge to you catch RL Grime and/or Jai Wolf ASAP – your ears and your soul will thank me later.