Grieves onstage Fox Theatre Boulder spotlights

Benjamin Laub, better known as Grieves, brought his Out Cold Tour to the Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado on February 18th to a very excited crowd.

The tour looks to be going strong this winter season with previous stops in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Frisco, Colorado. Next up on this amazing rhymesmith’s itinerary are appearances in Colorado Springs, Colorado on February 23rd, and Santa Fe, New Mexico on February 25th. Supporting The Out Cold Tour are up-and-comers Mouse Powell, Zac Ivie, and Dumb Luck.

The Crowd

Upon entering the Fox Theatre, the first thing I noticed was the laid-back attitude of the crowd. While excitement was high, the crowd was also very mellow. There was a relaxed yet energetic attitude throughout the night’s performances that ebbed and flowed with the energy of each song. As one would expect from alternative hip-hop artists, each act captured a variety of experiences and feelings universal to all people throughout the night, filtered through the perspective of the individual singing.

Hip-Hop with Live Musicians

The other thing that really stood out was the fact that all of the beats were not being mixed or merely played from an audio file. Rather, they were being controlled live with a combination of samplers, synthesizers, and keyboards by the emcee’s support artists. These musicians would often join the emcee onstage from behind the table. Their live instrumentals further enhanced the musical experience being enjoyed by all.

Mouse Powell

Mouse Powell really worked his backup musician into the performance with a wild tale of how the multi-instrumentalist had “busted his bussy” on tour and was still riding it out for the fans and love of the music. At one point, they even passed a tip jar into the crowd to raise funds for his partner in rhymes’ necessary backdoor medical treatment. Grieves also gave mad props to his musician, Pants, throughout their performance together. The brotherhood and love were apparent for all to see in their onstage chemistry.

Mouse Powell’s set impressed me with the eclectic beats and rhymes his band laid down for the crowd. This group’s music had a definite punk rock/ska flavor underlying the fat hip-hop breakbeats on the drumline in many of the songs delivered. I can see why Laub chose them as his direct support act. Mouse Powell masterfully took the crowd through all of the feelings including triumph, heartbreak, friendship, and love.

Grieves Brings it Home

Grieves took the stage next, and his entrance was something else. A full laser display provided by the Fox Theatre stunned the crowd with intense beams of red light after the lights dimmed at the start of his set. The hype-up music whipped the crowd into a frenzy as he sang his first song. He followed with perhaps his most well-known tune, “What It Dew.” Many in the crowd burst out into song with their favorite artist, helping him sing the chorus.

Grieves proceeded to showcase the majority of his catalog to the adoring fans until the show ended around midnight. All in all, a very satisfying and enjoyable musical experience was shared by all in attendance for Grieves’ Out Cold Tour. I would recommend catching any of the future dates still available for this talented, young artist’s performances.

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