As I walked up to The Ogden Theatre in -4 degree weather, I wondered how many people would leave their cozy nests and risk losing a few fingers to the cold to see this show. Turns out most of the ticket holders for A Hundred Drums‘ Saturday, January 13th show would. Was this a certifiably crazy crowd, or the music was that good?!

Turns out the music was that good — and there may have been a crazy person or two, but only in the most delightful of ways. From the cute little sprout clips that adorned whatever the wearer felt appropriate to fuzzy bucket hats to a giant Pikachu stuffy, this crowd was eclectic and fun, radiating a sense of community.

VIDE was the first artist to hit the stage. He set the tone for the night with a slow build of proper deep-spacey bass. Behind him stood a large panel with clean and subdued visual effects fine-tuned to put all eyes on him. A fairly large crowd already had gathered on the floor and in the mezzanine. The floor offered the best viewing of the artist, but as you made your way further back the bass became more intense and seemed to pass through your entire body. The mezzanine offered a bit more personal space for dancing as well as railings with built-in ledges to hold your drink. Though the bass didn’t penetrate you like it did on the lower level, it didn’t disappoint, rattling the ceiling at the coat check.

As VIDE’s set neared the end, he built up the energy to prepare the crowd for the next artist, Zen Selecta. As good of a job as he did getting the crowd’s energy up, I don’t think anyone was prepared for this fireball to hit the decks!

Zen Selecta was the epitome of a hype girl! Her thrash-meets-bounce, hair-flipping, head-banging, next-level energy got everyone moving. She carried her intensity throughout the entire set. There was a perfect balance between her moody and aggressive music, and her bubbly stage presence mixed well with the sweet tone of her voice. Her hourglass silhouette, framed by the now three panels of ever-changing cosmic hues of geometric and machine-like visual effects behind her, beautifully captured the dichotomy on stage. She was both the dark and the light, the cinnamon and the spice. Zen Selecta powerfully and playfully demanded the attention of the entire venue, and she got it.

Unlike many shows where every other attendee seems to be a Snapchat journalist, this crowd was fully immersed and present. Maybe it was due to the intensity of the music disallowing a way to both capture the moment and move to the music? Or perhaps it was the intentions set behind the Palo Santo smudging I could smell during VIDE’s set?

ATTYA came on next, and he played a lighter, dancier set than the previous artists. For all the dancers in the crowd, this was a special treat! He announced the release of his upcoming album The Indivisible on February 22nd and gave us a sneak peek, playing a fire track from the album. His entrepreneurial spirit kicked in at the end of his set as he plugged his beanies, which were available at the merch table. This man knows how to seize an opportunity and make it work for him. Hats off (or on) to you, Sir!

By this time, the venue was full up. The floor was packed and the mezzanine only offered sparse open slots for the advantageous few who didn’t mind doubling up in the generously wide rows.

A Hundred Drums took to the stage. Though one may think this is a one-woman show, Gabrielle makes it clear that there are three help facilitate the experience. Kara (Infinite Konceptz) creates the art that Actualize brings to life to set the backdrop of this finely orchestrated collaboration. She began with a song that the people enthusiastically sang along to, “F*** the club up!” Starting off amped AF!

The production ramped up as well, with five visual panels and an array of lasers which at times cast a multicolored veil over the performance. The attention to detail was the next-level production for which A Hundred Drums had been preparing us, aligning specific art to be displayed at specific times, and cueing fades to darkness during pivotal points in the musical journey. And what a journey it was!

The soundscape remained pretty consistent for the first half of her set. It was high intensity, and with all the visuals, and a bit overstimulating. The high quality left you feeling a predominate sense of amazement, however. As the set continued, it began to shift. The crowd was there for every twist and turn.

She brought out several special guests towards the end of her set. A surprise fire performance by N3ptune skyrocketed the energy of the room, followed by an appearance and disclosure of a future collaboration with Denver-based, internationally-known artist, Clozee. While on stage, Clozee showed nothing but love for A Hundred Drums, motioning the crowd several times over to celebrate Gabrielle.

This was A Hundred Drums’ first stop on her biggest headlining tour! Her mission is to bring representation for women of color in the EDM scene on grander levels. She aspires to headline Red Rocks Amphitheatre and this tour, without a doubt, is stepping her closer to that goal!

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