Grimes & Blood Diamonds
Better than: Bumping lines, in the back of an El Camino, at the edge of the universe.
Last night's incarnation of the beast that is The Echo's monthly “Check Yo Ponytail” event popped off hard with performances by Blood Diamonds and Grimes that could only rightfully be described as insane. Suffice it to say, the sheer metric tonnage of ass that was kicked last night was staggering.
The madness set in about halfway through a Blood Diamonds set that was already progressing at an admirable pace. As Mike Turner cued the opening strains of his tropicalia banger “Heart,” a small Asian girl rushed to the front of the stage shaking a champagne bottle with visible gusto. As she rained a golden bubbly shower down on the patrons in the first few rows, Grimes' Claire Boucher, fully clad in angel wings, beauty queen sash and her signature pink ponytail, made her entrance flanked by Cleopatra and a six-foot-tall glittery man in a little black dress, and began wetting down the crowd with her enormous day-glo super-soaker. As she did this, she backed up Blood Diamonds with complimentary head banging, Doc Marten stomping and the occasional rebel shriek.
As the night progressed, things took a turn for the surreal. During a romping rendition of Grimes/Blood Diamonds' collabo “Phone Sex”, a technicolor mob overflowed out onto the stage as if materialized from the depths of whatever galaxy Bootsy Collins calls home. Caricatures in varying degrees of cartooned splendor began forming a writhing, throbbing mass on the stage.
There was a gaggle of demure 20-something schoolboys complete with prep-school short shorts and unnerving come-hither stares. There was a scrawny pigeon-towed greaser with pompadour and bolo tie. There was a towering woman with ten-inch Nike platforms, penciled eyebrows, nails for days and bright pink camouflage cargo pants that perfectly matched the braided weave she had trailing almost to the floor.
There was a chubby man in a cat costume lurking ominously at the back of the stage, a hippie in pink fishnets and a woman draped in a Union Jack; hell, even Kreayshawn was there partying it up. It was like a Village People reunion during a particularly nasty acid flashback or perhaps some kind of depraved Bollywood dance interlude; I half expected a nun or a construction worker to pop out somewhere.
Eventually, Grimes took over with what was billed as a DJ set, but was really more reminiscent of some kind of deranged intergalactic cabaret. She supplied a steady stream of early 2000's pulp-pop, from Britney Spear's “Toxic” to Daddy Yankee's “Gasolina,” as a wild bacchanal ensued around her. I swear I was witness to more instances of simulated fellatio than I could count. At some point she slipped OutKast's classic “B.O.B” into the playlist and everyone went straight up ape-shit.
The twerking, gyrating stirrings up on stage became increasingly aggravated and menacing; a grimy residue of potent sexuality tempered by a sort of unhinged violent impulse. Clothing was shredded, ample bosoms were unceremoniously exposed, and by this time much of the audience had hopped up on stage to join in on the wild merriment.
Long story short, the patrons of The Echo were witness to a strange and terrifying cosmic experience last night that, quite frankly, defies all attempts at accurate documentation. Throughout it all, Boucher reigned supreme like a maniacal Trimalchio in a decadent fun house at the end of the world.
Personal Bias: I have a big fat crush on Claire Boucher and her lisp makes me weak in the knees.
The Crowd: Doc Martens, floral skirts, tiny backpacks.
Random Notebook Dump: I was definitely hit on by two men in dresses, the second one had nice legs.