Gramatik commemorates Nikola Tesla with RE:COIL at Red Rocks [Review]
On Saturday, June 17, Lowtemp Records founder and electro-funk extraordinaire Gramatik, once again headlined his own show at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO. The event marked the fourth year in a row that the artist, real name Denis Jašarević, has headlined the venue, and the second time his stage has been themed after one of his favorite historical figures, Nikola Tesla.
Anze Koron, a stage and content designer for Gramatik, says, “2017 marks the 100th year since Tesla’s Wardenclyffe Tower was torn down by corporations who opposed Tesla’s idea to give free energy to the world.” Thus, the show this year was “RE:COIL” – a play on his previous Tesla Coil stage design, “The Coil,” and, according to Koron, the name was also a political comment on the presidency that started this year.
The stage itself took up the entire available space at Red Rocks, resulting in a 30-foot-tall Tesla coil built out of LED screens as the center piece, with other subsidiary lights surrounding it. As was Tesla’s goal with the Wardenclyffe Tower, Gramatik sent wave after wave of powerful energy ripping through the air, electrifying everyone in the crowd for close to three hours – and that’s not including the supporting acts Mr. Carmack, Ekali and Flamingosis.
The stage stood as a testament to Gramatik’s stance in life and on politics – specifically the corruption in our country from big corporations. Net neutrality, scientific advancement for the well-being of everyone, not just the rich, and the current state of politics in the United States were all themes that Denis and his team wove into and throughout the performance. Gramatik spent some time literally weaving those themes into the night as well – such as the sign he held up that simply stated in large block letters, “Science is Cool.”
One of the major highlights of the night, aside from the incredible stage production and the fact that it was Gramatik playing, was Gramatik’s keyboard player, Anomalie, a prodigy-level player who melted just about every face and most of the keys on his keyboard as well.
Anomalie has been playing and studying classical and jazz piano since the age of four, and only recently began touring with Gramatik. In 2015, Gramatik reached out to the aspiring young musician when he ran across a video of Anomalie playing piano over the track “Chillaxin By The Sea,” and the two started talking regularly.
“I sent him a track I was working on,” said Anomalie, “and he asked if I wanted to release it on Lowtemp – that was my single ‘Odyssée,’ released in April 2016.” This was the single that put Anomalie on the radar for a quickly growing number of Lowtemp listeners and beyond. “Odyssée” was featured last year in the second edition of Dancing Astronaut’s 5 Under 5k.
Anomalie said he started playing with Gramatik in August of 2016, and has also been working hard on his own music. In fact, Gramatik took some time during the show to play two of Anomalie’s brand new tracks, “Velours” and “Le Bleury,” off of his recently released debut EP, “Métropole.” Groovy, jazzy, and interesting on many levels; it was obvious during those tracks (if it hadn’t been obvious already due to his downright magical keyboard skills, as seen in this video) that Gramatik made the right decision by signing him.
With another spectacular year on the Rocks in the bag, Gramatik continues to tour and release music on a tight schedule. Last Friday, July 21, he released a new heavy-yet-funky dubstep single with Galactic Marvl, “Voyager Twins.”
Photos by Badastronaut Photography