Gramatik | 04.18.14

live gramatik_75Playing tracks from his latest release, Gramatik kept the crowd going from the opening beat to the last cymbal crash.




live gramatik

The Pageant, St. Louis


If you have not yet heard of hip-hop beat artist Gramatik, don’t worry: You will. Born Denis Jasavenic, he was raised in Slovenia, where he started writing and creating hip-hop beats and music as a teenager. With several releases under his belt and a strong belief that recorded music should be free, Gramatik brought his hip-hop stylings to The Pageant, touring behind his latest effort, The Age of Reason.

This show was pure high energy from the minute the lights went down and opener, DJ and multi-instrumentalist Russ Liquid took the stage. With a jazzy feel to his tunes, Liquid spun like a demon, all the while switching from the trumpet to the flute. With a wowing rendition of “Smokey the Bear,” he kept the still-small crowd jazzed. Liquid was very fun and well received by the crowd, and I expect we will hear more from him in the near future.

Next up on the stage were Gibbs and Branx, a DJ and musical duo: Branx spins, while Gibbs spins, plays a mean guitar, and sings his falsetto-voiced heart out. The now nice-sized crowd couldn’t get enough. With house and trance-like beats, Gibbs and Branx were a nice complement to the show’s headliner, if not a bit more entertaining. More in the vein of duos such as the Pet Shop Boys, they were extremely high energy, and that energy was contagious.

Emerging from behind a DJ rack filled with lights, Gramatik took the smoke-filled stage. The crowd had grown to a great size, and from the first beat, they were jumping and dancing. The teens bounced and thumped along with Gramatik’s hardcore hip-hop beat. While to the untrained ear the songs may all sound the same (I saw quite a few annoyed parents in the crowd; they just didn’t get it), Gramatik’s fans predicted every nuance and tempo change. Playing tracks from his latest release, including “Brave New World” and “You Don’t Understand,” he kept the crowd going from the opening beat to the last cymbal crash. With a crazy light show and a venue full of screaming, dancing young folks, this is one artist carving a definite niche for himself. Gramatik has a very bright future indeed. He also runs his own record label, LowTemp Records, on which he also records with his side project, Exmag.

With the Delmar Loop’s strict under-18 curfew of 12 a.m., the show came to a frenzied close, leaving the audience sweaty and longing for more. Overall, this was a very entertaining show—although I would advise Gramatik to be careful when choosing his opening acts, as Gibbs and Branx almost stole this show. | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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