The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

Gorilla vs. Bear festival hits Dallas

DJ Sober on the ones and twos at the Gorilla vc. Bear music festival at Granada Theater. (Caleb Wossen/The Daily Campus)” height=”576


It’s 7 p.m. — the Granada Theater opens its doors and in come the people.

Friends congregate in various corners under pale lights.

Upstairs, a young girl dances freely to the music playing. The girl stops when she’s
caught, giggling.

Empress Of, also known as Lorely Rodriguez, says she likes to dance before her performances.

“It’s fun!” Rodriguez said.

Empress Of is one of the many acts performing at the third Gorilla vs. Bear festival, hosted by the popular blog of the same name.

The lax mood will soon give way to pure explosiveness.

Producer outfit Booty Fade kicked off the show with a musical B12 shot.

DJs Sober and Picnic warm the crowd with an eclectic mix of songs. Pop songs like Lloyd’s “Lay it Down” find new life as bright-colored dance hall numbers. Booty Fade also played their own hits – “F#$K Like a Stripper” and “T.Y.B.”

Picnic, the duo’s MC, makes light of the poster leaning against the turntables. The poster features the words “Booty Fade” tattooed to a woman’s posterior.

“Someone asked if the poster’s scratch-and-sniff,” Picnic joked. “It’s not.”

The audience is still dancing when Booty Fade close their set. DJ Sober runs off stage to resume his role as festival DJ between sets.

Sober’s mixing keeps the mood from going cold, masterfully maintaining the same energy level for most of the show.

Empress Of takes the stage next.

23-year-old singer Empress Of performs at Granda Theater. (Caleb Wossen/The Daily Campus)” height=”576

Dressed in a black mini-skirt and rose-print blouse, the 23-year-old singer admits she’s “happy to be here” for her first Dallas show.

The rest of her set is similarly adorable.

Backed by a synth player and drummer, Empress Of specializes in twinkling chandelier jams.

The singer twirls around the stage amid airy synths, often breaking into chants.

Jimmy Breeling, 28, is impressed with Empress Of after first hearing her.

“I love the rhythms, the offbeats, her voice,” Breeling, the manager of a wine bar, said. “It’s good.”

Playing next is HAERTS. The five-piece band is a more serious live experience.

Their music is 80s-based with moody guitar work and hard-hitting drums.

Singer Nini Faber’s vocals soar above it all, rarely stopping to engage the audience.

Here, the crowd dancing slows to a nod. One audience member is not pleased.

“not enjoying this,” tweets ZombieZamboni to @granadatheater’s live feed, demanding headliner Danny Brown come out already.

College student Rashad Miller, 23, feels differently.

“I’ve found my new favorite band,” Miller said.

The band thanks the crowd for their “first show in Dallas” before making way for Blue Hawaii.

Blue Hawaii has a stripped-down feel compared to Faber’s Catwoman-in-heels schtick.

“Ag” works the MPC in a baseball cap while singer Ra dresses casually in white.

The music, however, is anything but plain.

The singer squeaks like a pixie, dancing in place under purple lights.

So arresting is her performance that no one notices when she botches a song.

“I always forget [when to come in],” Ra said. “so I just start over again.”

Ra’s squeaks dart over strange blips and percussive whips – and bass. Bass so dense it’s almost inhalable.

The crowd’s still dancing when Blue Hawaii leaves the stage, thoroughly impressed.

“blue hawaii knows that house shit,” tweets @_bitchn.

Audience members read the Twitter feed running on the left screen, laughing at raunchy tweets while waiting for the headliner.

By midnight, the lights go dim for Danny Brown.

DJ/producer Skywlkr shakes up the crowd with a thunderous opening set to Waka Flocka. Energy is high- the show’s really about to start now.

Danny Brown walks on stage wearing red Air Force 1’s to contrast his black shorts and shirt.

The Detroit rapper and blog darling grabs the mic and greets the audience. It’s chaos and noise from there.

Brown is a masterful punchline writer with a rubber flow. On stage, he’s at home rapping over grimier versions of his cult favorites.

Brown’s manic, but goofy presence hides an elegant stylist, always full of surprises.

The crowd eats it up and then some.

None of the previous acts prepare the audience for the mayhem that is a Danny
Brown show.

Bodies are flung in the mosh pit with violent abandonment.

One man grinding on his girlfriend is knocked flat on his bottom.

Another man moshing is struck in the eye, albeit unintentionally.

Touchingly, the man and his assailant shake hands and continue to enjoy the show.

Danny Brown departs the stage around 1 p.m. Wearing a bra thrown on stage as a hat, Brown thanks the crowd for coming out to see him.

The crowd is, in a word, impressed.

“When a bra gets [thrown], that’s when you know it’s dope,” 18-year-old college student Jose Almanz said.




More to Discover