It was the Sunday night before we all begrudgingly went back to the grind of post-Thanksgiving-break life, but you’d never be able to tell from the spirited crowd packing The Roxy. LA’s golden boy RL Grime announced this run of hometown charity shows only days prior and sent people scrambling for tickets. The LA area is used to seeing RL Grime aka Henry Steinway pack fairplexs and massive concert halls with his larger-than-life performances, so the opportunity to catch him tear apart this tiny 500-person venue was a golden ticket.
Boy, did he deliver. From start to finish, Steinway schooled this crowd with his hard-hitting, hip-hop infused beats. The adrenaline in this room was pumping non-stop. Its performances like this one that have come to cement RL Grime as not only one of California’s greatest, but one of the genre’s most versatile and electrifying producers. (ICYMI – Steinway also performs as Clockwork. Epic.)
As RL Grime, Steinway blends the rhythm and attitude of modern hip-hop with the edge of electro with finesse and vision. But it always stays unexpected – from break beat to dubstep to hearty downtempo, he touched on it all during that Sunday night’s dynamic, varied performance. Production was stark but effective – it didn’t distract from the masterful set at all, it only enhanced it. The hometown love was boiling over. It’s rare when an LA crowd loses their entire cool and just gets DOWN, but that’s what happened at The Roxy that night. My ears are still ringing (PSA: wear earplugs).
All of the proceeds for these shows would be given directly to Hearts of LA Foundation, an organization that provides free after-school programs in academics, visual arts and music to thousands of underprivileged youth in and around Los Angeles. Over the three shows, over $6500 was raised for HOLA –- I think it’s safe to say that Henry Steinway is the hero Los Angeles deserves AND the one it needs.
Here’s a set he recorded early in 2015 that’s well-worth checking out via Mixmag: