The Cube, Winnipeg MB, August 17

Photo: Shawn Fillion

BY Anthony AugustinePublished Aug 18, 2014

Mid-way through headlining the final night of programming at the free portion of the Manitoba Electronic Music Exhibition (MEME), Detroit-based producer GRiZ (a.k.a. Grant Kwiecinski) told the crowd he wasn't sure to expect from this gig, and he seemed genuinely shocked by the raucous, jam-packed crowd at the Cube and their reaction to his music before he launched back into his boisterous, tightly executed live set.

Bouncing between live sax, his trusty Akai MPD 32 and the mic to get the crowd hyped up, GRiZ dropped a hefty amount of his own beats, chopping and stuttering the drums live to create real-time builds, breaks and drops. Starting with his own tracks like "Gettin' Live" before weaving in hip-hop like "The Next Episode" by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg and samples from the Wu Tang and Skrillex, GRiZ had the Sunday evening crowd energized from the start. Things only built from there, with a quick segment that meshed GriZ's own "Smash the Funk" into "Give Up the Funk" by Parliament and back into his own track, "DTW to DIA (The Travels of Mr. B)." GRiZ worked the low-end, bass-heavy funk throughout his set, especially on tracks like "Digital Liberation is Mad Freedom," which was done under his Grizmatik project. He also managed to incorporate "Shout" by Lloyd Williams, which turned into a huge call-and-response segment with the crowd. Other highlights were DJ Grant's remix of Aerosmith's "Dream On," Knife Party's remix of Porter Robinson's "Union" and Dillon Francis' remix of Daft Punk's "Harder Better Faster Stronger."

As the sky finally opened up after a beautiful weekend of weather, the pouring rain wasn't enough to put a damper on the party, as the near capacity crowd stayed with the Motor City producer right 'til the bitter end. Sensing the special moment everyone was sharing, GRiZ unleashed Cazzette's remix of "N***** in Paris" and "Let Me Clear My Throat" by Kool Keith before having to shut things down a few minutes early due to the unrelenting rain.

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