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Monday, April 4, 2016

Live Review: Rickshaw Stop Lost Its Chill When Gryffin Took The Stage Last Friday Night

Posted By on Mon, Apr 4, 2016 at 10:34 AM

click to enlarge RYAN MANNIX
  • Ryan Mannix
Allan Rayman
DJ Aaron Axelsen
Friday, April 1st
Rickshaw Stop

Almost every event at Rickshaw Stop has a quick witted drink special with wordplay that winks at the night’s bill. Tonight, there was no such clever message. Instead, the chalkboard gawked from behind the bar with unsettling chicken scratch promoting Fireball. But the disappointment only lasted three seconds, tops, and was the only of the night.

Last Friday, April 1, was Gryffin’s San Francisco debut. The show sold out in eight minutes. Gryffin, who is fronted by the solo producer Dan Griffith, was on its “Heading Home” tour, celebrating the success of its latest single of the same name. In the short time after it’s January release, “Heading Home,” shot to the top of Spotify’s Global Viral chart. 
Rickshaw Stop was packed within an hour, at which point the lights dropped and all eyes darted to an unusual candlelit bistro table set up on stage. Perched on top was an open bottle of wine and glassware for two. A gentle, pre-recorded voice emanated from the speaker stacks: “Is everyone in? The show is about to begin.”

A beat thundered to life and Allan Rayman, the opener,  jumped onto the stage without introduction, reeling the crowd in with “Lucy The Tease.” Hearts swooned in the dark over the alluring rasp of his voice. Rayman saddled up to the table and grabbed his glass. Across from a chair that would never be filled, Allan drank alone with only a small flame to keep his face from the shadows.
click to enlarge Dan Griffith - RYAN MANNIX
  • Ryan Mannix
  • Dan Griffith
Allan Rayman transported Rickshaw Stop to a haunting yet danceable realm, deep inside a mind seemingly tormented by some tragic love story. The emotional live imagery had everyone mesmerized with heads and hips rocking. Back on his feet, Allan returned to the mic for “Tennessee.” Every two or three songs, he dove back down to the table. Each time, a recording of a woman’s voice on an answering machine offered another sliver of a story that never fully unfolded. The back-and-forth sway from swigs to verses captivated the audience for the entire set and left us thirsty for more. Add Allan Rayman to your radar immediately.

DJ Aaron Axelsen quickly alleviated the separation anxiety with tasty Popscene mixes, nudging the dance vibes up to the next level. We were ready for Gryffin. He made a huge splash in the indie dance scene last year, topping remix charts. Last October, he teased Billboard with his plans to unleash a live set to shy away from the traditional DJ performance. 
click to enlarge Dan Griffith - RYAN MANNIX
  • Ryan Mannix
  • Dan Griffith
The house lights cut out once more and brought Gryffin’s set visuals to a focus. For the first time, San Francisco saw Gryffin take the stage and Rickshaw Stop lost all chill. Gryffin started with its spin on Ellie Goulding’s “Burn” and Banks’ “Beggin’ For Thread.” People were now sitting atop shoulders like they were already at Coachella. Then Griffith revealed a surprise. Turning his attention off-stage, he invited Bay-Area-native-now-New-Orleans-based vocalist, Abby Diamond, to help deliver an unreleased single, “Love In Ruins.” The party went up to cloud level and never came down.

We saw Griffith and the rest of his band riff through his acclaimed remixes of hits from CHVRCHES, M83, and Jack Garratt. Energy levels peaked with his new banger, “Heading Home,” and we even saw Griffith bring out a professional violinist for the most lit dance party at Rickshaw Stop so far this year. Griffith and co. come back to the same stage for another San Francisco show later this month (April 27), so get your tickets, and be prepared to turn up. 

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