This past Saturday, February 23rd to be exact, Denis Jasarevic aka Gramatik hit Chicago’s Riviera Theater for an intimate night of lights and some of the best music to grace the electronic music scene. To be completely honest, I have several friends who have been into Gramatik for some time now, but I never really explored his work – until now. After being signed to the Pretty Lights Music label, he’s continued to give out his music to his fans for free and setting his own path.

“As an artist that based his entire career on the platform of free file sharing, I’m dedicating it to the fight against severe internet censorship bills we’ve been hearing about so much in the past months. Bastards have been trying to cripple the internet on a global scale with bills like ACTA/SOPA/PIPA and I’m sure there’s more of them coming, so this one goes out for spreading awareness! Reject them all, they will never stop the sharing, the Internet is our realm, digital freedom!”
Wise words. For someone who gives away record after record for free, he has quite the fan base and it shows. The Riviera Theater was packed and everyone, I mean everyone, had a smile from ear to ear during the whole thing. People were genuinely there for the music vs. the crowd I see at some other artists sets in the city.

Being my first time at the Riviera Theater, I was unsure of what to expect given my usual experience at Congress Theater and the Aragon Ballroom. I didn’t found out until after the show that it was being put together by the good people at Jam Productions in conjunction with React Presents and Silver Wrapper. What I experienced was an amazing Chicago venue that was incredibly friendly to its patrons. We all know what it’s like to go to a show at Congress right? Think of the Riviera Theater as a much more friendly place to be with the same setting as Congress but a little smaller.

Since my friends and I typically have no concept of time, we didn’t arrive until shortly before Gramatik’s “go live” time. The coat check line was packed as usual so we opted to find a few seats upstairs to setup camp and let the night begin. After getting a drink I made my way to the press pit to snag a few photos. Not the largest press pit but we don’t need that much room anyway. Enough to get the job done unless you’re timid. I snagged a few shots and then made my way upstairs to catch a glimpse from the top. Cheers to the lighting team – you did a great job.
The night was a blast and I’m happy I finally took the time to really see what Gramatik was all about. I hope the video will suffice for those of you who didn’t make it out. Special thanks to Danielle at Magnum PR. Take a look at their setlist from the show below.

1. Who Got Juice (The Coil Intro Version)
2. Just Jammin’
3. Break Loose (Savages Edition Feat. Nigel Hall)
4. Hit That Jive
5. Dungeon Sound
6. Lonely & Cold
7. Make You Better
8. So Much For Love
9. The Uprising
10. Red Baron Of WW3
11. Defying Gravity
12. Expect Us (Unreleased “The Age Of Reason” track)
13. Take It Back
14. Blood Ties
15. Talkbox Intended
16. Never That Easy
17. Fist Up
18. Digital Liberation Is Mad Freedom
20. Born Ready
21. Kill Paris – To A New Earth (Gramatik Remix)
22. 23 Flavors
23. Bluestep
24. Illusion of Choice
25. Brave Men (Unreleased “The Age Of Reason” track)