Death Grips pushed everyone to their limits when they stormed through Melbourne

The opportunity to catch the elusive and unpredictable Death Grips in Australia is a rare and exciting prospect. 

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Ian Laidlaw

The experimental rap trio’s set pushed the performers to their limits and fans to their last drop of sweat, testing how well the Prince Bandroom would survive in an earthquake-like scenario.
The setlist was pure, unadulterated Grips – a selection of high-energy tracks flowing seamlessly into the next with no breaks at all. With hot picks from their whole catalogue, the night was chaos from start to finish – the kind of night a diehard fan could walk out of and feel wholly satisfied. The first drum beat of Whatever I Want (Fuck Who’s Watching) threw an anticipating crowd into a full floor of stomping, howling demons that physically shook the venue right up to the far back. The dial was turned up to 100 right from the get-go – the crowd’s unified violence was far more energetic than anything seen at a metal show. Get Got’s heaving beat inspired much the same effect to a sea of flailing arms and heads, gaining more momentum as MC Ride jumped and growled over the stage. The crowd were following his every move, becoming the beast they worshipped.
Hot Head’s unadulterated noise-core ethos was a surprisingly welcome addition to the set. Seeing Ride babble in tongues over blasting drums and chaotic samples before shifting back to a tangible rap structure made a lot more sense in a live setting than it did on the album. There was a physical energy on show that created context – something that couldn’t be captured on recordings.
No Love, Inanimate Sensation and Spikes were all outstanding and the crowd, although teetering on the edge of fatigue, still heaved themselves into mosh-mode. Giving Bad People Good Ideas’ grindy blast-beats turned the floor into a circle pit and I’ve Seen Footage swapped the crowd’s cathartic anger into a dance party. By the tail-end of the set, it was evident that the band had given it their all. I Break Mirrors With My Face In The United States had a tired Ride giving it as much as he could but still visibly panting – although Zach Hill carried the torch while drumming behind him like a sweat-riddled beast. After an entire set that darted away from Exmilitary tracks, Death Grips threw out Guillotine as a closer. All boxes were ticked – they played something off every album, performed with the insane energy that left the crowd sweaty and disoriented. Couldn’t have asked for a better night.
Highlight: Feeling the ground shake of the first mosh.
Lowlight: Visibility issues.
Crowd Favourite: The whole set.