Positive energy, good vibes, and funky music filled the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre last Saturday night as world renowned saxophonist, songwriter, and producer, GRiZ, was joined by his hard working and dedicated crew to take to the stage for season two of their Ride Waves Tour. The first season of this tour featured songs from his latest album ‘Ride Waves,’ plus a few unreleased tracks that had his fans begging for a second round of this insatiable performance. Season two of this tour did not disappoint as Liberators from all over the East Coast got many of the same favorites from ‘Ride Waves’ plus several new tracks featured on GRiZ’s most recent creations, known as Bangers, Bangers, and Bangers. I really enjoyed hearing “I Like That” and “Ice Cream” through the CMCU’s massive sound system. The passion GRiZ and his team expel every time they step on the stage is noteworthy and inspirational. You can always feel the love and dedication put into each and every single one of his sets, but this tour is special for a multitude of reasons. (all photos below were shot by Ian Saunderson)
GRiZ, otherwise known as Grant Kwiecinski, introduced us to his biggest stage production to date: Imaginarium. This spectacular new production was more than visuals and flashing lights – its purpose was to send a message to his fans that we are all part of something bigger and better in the grand scheme of life. It is about living in the moment with the music that surrounds us as much as possible. Needless to say, his efforts to expand our minds through this message and share his love through his music had his audience captivated the entire time. I have a lot of love for the saxmaster – not only because I also happen to be from Michigan, but because of the way GRiZ portrays himself on and off stage. He is a true inspiration.
GRiZ and his team never disappoint and the individual talents he includes on stage with him are breathtaking. Cherish Raperrier blessed us with her amazing vocals that can be heard in tracks such as “The Prayer” and “Mercy.” Rapper Probcause brought intense energy for “My Friends and I Pt. 2” – from every corner of the audience, I could see was a wave of smiles quickly taking over. And of course who can forget about Grant’s trusty sidekick, the one and only Muzzy Bearr, who never fails to impress with his insane vocals and guitar skills. I think it would have been insane if Subtronics would have jumped out on stage when GRiZ dropped his super VIP of Griztronics, but I’m sure I’ll get that experience one day. It’s safe to say GRiZ selects only the best to accompany him on such a huge, influential tour.
We also asked our contest winner, Katie Riemki a little bit about her experience at the GRiZ fiesta, and this is what she had to say: Charlotte Sessions ran a contest to win tickets to GRiZ Ride Waves Tour: Season 2, I entered not thinking anything of it. Day of the show, my phone goes off letting me know I won the tickets. Yassss! I gather my crew and we all head off to the show. As soon as I hit the lawn, instantly I felt at home. Friends to the left of me and friends to the right of me, completely surrounded. Great vibes took over my body head to toes. As the sun starts to set Funk Hunters take the stage. My first time hearing them live, I didn’t know what to expect. I was blown away. A great blend of funk, soul, and EDM that you cannot, NOT dance too. They we’re an amazing and perfect opener into GRiZ. Now it was the funk daddy’s time to take the stage. The lights come on, the music starts, and out comes Grant, the man himself. As the funky sounds filled my ears and my feet started to move, it was a truly euphoric moment. The colors and art on this tour are perfectly blended. Dripping like ice cream as a backdrop on the stages and screens. The collaboration on this album with a huge arrange of artists and choirs, makes it not only unique, but creates frisson. The aesthetic chills you get from seeing GRiZ live is something I cannot describe in words. If you ever get the chance to see GRiZ live, BRUH – DO IT! The best part was GRiZ closing the set out with “It Gets Better.” At that moment, I looked down at my group of friends as all of us began tearing and singing together in unison. We all gave each other a group hug as the set closed. The overwhelming warm feeling of love that we all got to share with GRiZ on this tour makes it one of the top tours I have seen this year.
Stay funky Grant, and thanks for another amazing show!