Walking into The MID, I felt like I was back in college, just down the street from my old stomping grounds, University of Illinois at Chicago. I once enjoyed night clubs, but am learning that my taste in fun has evolved quite a bit since those much loved college days.
Gramatik was one of few long-awaited acts to follow the famous and beautiful annual Chicago musical extravaganza, Lollapalooza – a gold mine of musical artists. While the wait was long for the DJ to officially hit the podium (rather than the stage), it was well worth it for a celestial overnight experience of electro-swing.
The crowd was delighted when Gramatik made his appearance at one a.m., following Friday night’s Lollapalooza headliners of The Killers, Blink 182, Run the Jewels and DJ Snake. While the Slovenian producer DJs on his turntables, his laptop and sound board – true to the form of most DJs – he brought something to The MID that’s unique to others.
His sound is calm, combining beautiful, twinkly guitar riffs to songs like “Just Jammin’,” to gently keep his audience awake. And I think the natural high of having just seen Blink 182 and The Killers perform was further fed by a series of laser beams shooting above the middle of the crowd and shining all the way to the back of The MID.
While keeping his post-Lollapalooza (and company) audience on its toes, he does so in the right setting, one that allows his sound to soar in the dark, to bring back out the bounce in the young souls at The MID.