August 10, 2023

Death Grips played Terminal 5

On their first tour since 2019, Death Grips barreled into New York City's Terminal 5 for a show of absolutely ruthless aggression. 

It may have been four years since the last time Death Frips went on tour and even longer since they've released a proper album, but the trio of MC Ride, Zach Hill, and Andy Morin are as angry and restless as ever and their epic show at Manhattan's concrete box better known as Terminal 5 was an all out frenzy that brought their sensory overload show to a crowd on the verge of a riot. From the moment the band took to the stage, the crowd was chomping at the bit and stirring up the pit, ready to bring the mosh and release enough pent up anger and energy to light up a small town. Industrial guitar wails blanketed the crowd while violent red lights bathed the group on stage in a wash of blood-colored lighting bringing out primordial elements of raw aggression that had the audience pummeling one another for over an hour as the group annihilated the room with their onslaught of brutal noise and cacophonous rhythm. MC Ride's vocals were delivered with a guttural intensity that saw him bending over backwards and spewing his rhymes with adrenaline pumping force that begged the question of just how he had the stamina to scream for such a prolonged amount of time while Zach Hill beat the absolute living shit out of his drums with a mix of free jazz and hardcore beats that pulverized the band's sound with a grinding force. Morin's bass lines bulldozed the crowd with the same spirit of Lightning Bolt's dramatic and demonic soundscape, like an engine revving up beside a jet engine and unleashing such brutal sonics that you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone leaving the show who didn't look like they'd just been through war. As the pits were raging to the upper limits, the overall intensity only seemed to climb throughout the night and while "I've Seen Footage" seemed to get the place absolutely shaking to its foundation as the extreme frequencies and overall gargantuan response from the crowd blasted away and left the crowd in a sweltering mess of sweat and unfathomable energy. There was never a moment that seemed less intense than the ones before and as the band mixed their brand of hardcore, thrash, and prop metal with experimental hip hop, their niche vibes only felt more powerful and their impressive display recalled so many other musical acts from across the spectrum of whom could possibly come close to the level of unfiltered intensity that Death Grips bring with each and every show. It was a visceral and turbulent experience that demanded endurance to the same degree it provided moments of empowering and affirming releases of deeply harnessed and suppressed feelings. "Hackers" was another song that sent the physicality through the roof, the crowd once again attacking the floor like maggots to a carcass. It was a display of power unlike anything I've ever seen, but one that never seemed to get out of hand and as chaotic as the night was, never once did things feel beyond measure. It was a true testament to what a band can bring to the table and just how magnetic and commanding stage presence can be. For all the uncertainty Death Grips has brought over the years, they've never caved on their loyalty to creating music that pushes the extremes, refuses to sit still, or opens its arms to the masses. To me, not much else has ever covered the ground Death Grips has covered in their prolific and storied career, but honestly, I'm not sure anyone could handle another band like them. If there's only room for one band of this caliber, Death Grips are supremely positioned to carry out their duty and will take no prisoners on the journey.

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