Rhymesayers Entertainment artist Grieves stopped by the Blue Moose November 10th on his “Back On My Grizzly Tour.” The tour, making nineteen stops throughout the western half of North America, is Grieves first headlining tour since his ‘Together/Apart Tour’ back in 2011. Grieves is best known for his Northwest hip-hop sound that pulls elements from other genres such as rock and alternative. Traditionally Northwest hip-hop was only accepted in hip-hop venues, but Grieves performance in Iowa City demonstrated that the Northwest hip-hop movement has shifted to a wider audience.
The Seattle native’s most recent project Together/Apart, a self-discovering story-line three years in the making anchored most of the set. Grieves wasn’t afraid to pull out songs from his past projects. While his stage presence was phenomenal, a faulty sound system throughout the set created for a bit of disappointment.
The technical difficulties allowed for the energetic opening act, Sweatshop Union, to shine a bit more. The “Back On My Grizzly Tour” has been supported by the Vancouver, Canada based hip-hop collective. They performed the majority of their most recent album Infinite. However the biggest crowd-pleaser was their song Bill Murray, an ode to the legendary actor. Their energetic and carefree attitudes dazzled the crowd and made for an incredible opening set.
Before Sweatshop Union, local hip-hop group AWTHNTKTS hit the stage. They have recently been gaining exposure by opening for acts such as Danny Brown, Mobb Deep and Grieves throughout the last six months. Although they were without vocalist Romulan, the group still put on a great show.
Grieves came on soon after Sweatshop Union. The room fell dark as the erie baseline animated the crowd. Grieves burst onto the stage without his microphone working. The faulty beginning took some life from of the crowd. However his anecdotes between songs recaptured the crowds attention. Telling stories of his past trips to Iowa City, where he woke up naked in a sorority house, as well as relating to the heartbroken listeners with a breakup story. In between dodging money, taking shots from the crowd and at one point being hit with a bottle full of cherries, Grieves was able to play an enticing and dynamic set.
If you are interested in Grieves’ music check out his website or buy his album Together/Apart on iTunes.