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GRiZ slays in first of two GRiZmas shows at Masonic Temple

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

Posted: Saturday, December 15, 2018

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DETROIT -- The 12 Days of GRiZmas got funky on Friday night, Dec. 15 -- but in the best possible way.

Southfield-raised GRiZ (nee Grant Kwiecisnki) is best known worldwide for his EDM work, but he's also an electrifying live performer and fearless bandleader, virtues that were on abundant display as he and his 15 piece GRiZ Live Band tore through its hour-and-50-minute show at the Masonic Temple. Blending the raw ferocity of Kid Rock's early Twisted Brown Trucker with the polish of Bruno Mars' Hooligans and the snap of James Brown's Famous Flames, GRiZ and company slayed throughout the set, schooling the rave-ready sold-out crowd on the enduring value, and relevance, of live music -- with, GRiZ proudly pointed out before the show, "no computers."

The night's 20 songs provided an ample troll through GRiZ's career to date -- including brand new material such as the first encore, "Bustin'," during which he welcomed special guest Bootsy Collins and eventually morphed into the Parliament classic "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)." The arrangements provided plenty of room for all five vocalists and the instrumentalists, especially longtime guitarist Dan "Muzzy Bear" Hacker and, of course, GRiZ on saxophone, to stretch out.

Opening with the bouncy soul-pop of "The GRiZmas Song," the troupe quickly moved into the grooving heavy rock of "Can't Hold Me Down" before lighting into the psychedelic funk of "Stop Trippin'." "Take It High" had the buoyant flavor of Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk," while GRiZ introduced a gospel-style intro for "PS GFY" and traipsed through a bit of prog rock on the instrumental "Chasing Galaxies."

GRiZ had the crowd was singing along, too, to favorites such as "Can't Hold Me Down," "Gotta Push On" and the anthemic new single "It Gets Better," though he also quieted fans in order to showcase the vocals on "Wicked." Rapper ProbCause joined the fray for "Smoke That" and "My Friends and I," and the show ended with a frenetic medley of "Feel Right" and GRiZ's remix arrangement of Kool & the Gang's "Get Down On It" before ending the night with the Isley Brothers' "Shout" -- and plenty for fans to truly shout about as they streamed out into the early hours of Saturday.

GRiZ wraps up his 12 Days of GRiZmas, raising money for Seven Mile Music and its educational programs for Detroit Public School students, on Saturday, Dec. 15, with a more EDM-styled show at the Masonic. Visit 12DaysofGrizmas.com for details.

Web Site: www.12DaysofGrizmas.com

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