Gryffin brings color and passion to his set at the Shrine Auditorium

EDM artist Gryffin displayed his multi-instrumental talents during his set by switching back and forth between drums, guitars and a keyboard. (Jeremy Silverman | Daily Trojan)

Gryffin took the stage for his second consecutive evening Saturday night, enrapturing fans in a memorable set at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall.

Amid a thunderstorm of dazzling fluorescent hues, Gryffin showed off his musical talents through his skills on various instruments. Within the first five minutes of his set, he demonstrated his musical range: He played two different guitars, a keyboard, drums and even sang.

Before Gryffin came on, the crowd was greeted by DJ Jonas Blue. With a tight set that got the crowd ready for the headliner, Jonas’ confidence was palpable. Accompanied by shades of blue and giant lights flashing his name, Jonas played a cohesive and exciting set.

After an hour of Jonas Blue’s performance, the crowd waited patiently for Gryffin, who came on about 10 minutes late. 

Unlike Jonas, whose set was purely behind a DJ booth, Gryffin took command of the entire Shrine Expo Hall. The opening of his set created a moment of tension that burst upon his arrival. The venue was drowned in blue and green pulsating light as the drums grew into a rapid crescendo, signaling this show was going to be anything but simple.

Artist Gryffin used colorful visuals, pyrotechnics, laser graphics and other virtual effects to engage the crowd. (Jeremy Silverman | Daily Trojan)

With lights, lasers, pyrotechnics and huge LED screens, Gryffin took advantage of the space and the crowd’s energy throughout his whole set. One of the highlights of the show was his song “Tie Me Down,” where Gryffin let the crowd lead the show. Stepping away from his instruments and lifting his head toward the audience, the eruption of voices throughout the Shrine Expo Hall was extraordinary. 

As a venue, Shrine lends itself to a performer like Gryffin. Visually, the set featured every color imaginable and used the screens to take the crowd from the inside of a diamond to a rainbow paradise to outer space. The lighting and visuals partnered with the music in a way that kept the audience invested in the show. The show marks the beginning of Gryffin’s Gravity II Tour in support of his album that comes out Oct. 24. The Saturday show followed a sold-out Friday night.

Musically, Gryffin is a jack-of-all trades. He doesn’t stick to one thing, and he has tremendous talent live. Although he is usually described as an EDM musician, Gryffin’s live abilities rivaled those of any pop star. 

In the same vein, while many DJs and electronic and dance musicians produce whole sets from behind their booth, Gryffin eliminated that structure and used the whole stage. Swinging his guitar around, Gryffin ran around the stage from keyboard to keyboard (yes, he had multiple — each with different tonal qualities). With his talents, Gryffin became an artist that could win over those who are cynical of current EDM musicians.