Death Grips performs hauntingly energetic set at the Fillmore Auditorium

Miles Parrish

(Photo courtesy of villunderlondon on flickr.com)

Experimental hip hop band, Death Grips came to the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver Sunday as part of their U.S. tour alongside the 80s industrial metal band, Ministry.

Walking into the venue, the crowd was a surprising mix of people ranging from those of younger, college age to older audience members looking as if they were in their late 30s. Despite the variation between those in attendance, there was an equal amount of excitement throughout the venue for the performance, all in recognition of their joint cause to enjoy the event as much as possible.

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The concert started rather abruptly as vocalist MC Ride, drummer and producer Zach Hill and engineer Andy Morin took a pitch black stage with nothing but green lights attached to their fingers. Without any introduction, the trio kicked things off with extreme intensity, and the crowd followed suit.

Within seconds of the band’s arrival on stage, the crowd had already switched from a mass of anticipation to an explosive mosh pit. From the distorted hellscape of Death Grips’ “80808” to the electric rampage of “Bubbles Buried in this Jungle” and the slow yet schizophrenic “Guillotine,” this intensity did not let up.

The entire crowd had turned into one giant mosh. To my surprise, the mosh pit was one of the most loving yet chaotic environments that I have ever been witness to. Although countless people were aimlessly throwing their bodies into each other without a care in the world, the second that one of their fellow moshers fell or showed any sign of injury, a crowd of three or four people in the audience were already on the task to ensure that they were okay. 

Death Grips’ performed in a way that can only be described as a seemingly endless onslaught of wild but controlled rage. The band took precisely zero breaks during their hour-long set and, just like those on stage, the crowd showed no signs of stopping either; going word for word with MC Ride as he fired off seemingly nonsensical but incredibly charged lyrics. Whatever energy the group put on that stage, the crowd did much more than just match it

The concert ended just as abruptly as it started. After about an hour of that endless onslaught, the stage had gone silent, and Death Grips departed without a word. Although this may have seemed rude to recognize those in attendance, the crowd seemed to understand and remained in complete appreciation of the experience. And although I left the Fillmore Auditorium bruised and exhausted from the mosh pit, I was satisfied to know that I had experienced something truly unique.