After years of spreading the word through small venues and clubs, Grandson’s revolution has reached its largest audience of believers on his biggest headlining tour to date. Atlas was front and center for all the action at the Phoenix stop of Death of a Tour and it’s only getting wilder from here.
The colorful quartet Oxymorrons (two R’s and don’t forget it) opened the show with nothing but good vibes and high energy. The Van Buren’s stage became their stomping ground, dance floor and pulpit as they brought their good word to a roomful of humans eager to soak it all in. The group seamlessly made the audience a part of their set, interacting with the front row and making everyone in the room part of their growing family. This tour is so well stacked that the room forgot Oxymorrons was just an opener and we’ll surely be seeing them on a headliner of their own very soon.
Newcomer Royal & the Serpent was the middle act of the evening and the adoration poured off of the front row from the first notes. Singing about topics like depression, anxiety and societal pressures has brought Royal & the Serpent fame on TikTok and beyond as their relatable songs reach more and more people. Frontwoman Ryan Santiago was a bundle of energy, playing off the crowd and her bandmates through songs like “Better”, a fun cover of The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” and their viral hit “Overwhelmed”.
It’s been over two years since Grandson visited Arizona and fans turned out in force for the return of their favorite. Jordan Benjamin’s magnetic stage presence drew in the most casual observers, turning everyone into full blown Grandkids by the end of the night. Proudly wearing his political and social beliefs on his chest, the first portion of the set was dedicated to the bangers before the debut album. Opening with “6:00” was nothing short of a power move and there was no room to breathe from there.
“Dirty” had the room off their feet and dancing and “Bury Me Face Down” had the rail shaking from the headbanging. Shortly after “The Ballad of G and X” (a nice acoustic moment belying the incoming chaos), Grandson reemerged- but this time as his antagonistic alter ego X. Suit and tie askew, he finally brought Death of an Optimist to life. We even got a special appearance by Phoenix rapper Futuristic that had the room going wild.
The Van Buren was filled to the brim with love, righteous anger and an overwhelming determination to change the world and we wouldn’t have it any other way. A highlight of the night- two fans in full Grandson gear getting engaged onstage as the band leaped for joy around them. Grandson made sure to come back for a heavy-hitting encore of “Stigmata” and “Blood//Water”, the song that started it all.
With so many Grandson gigs under our belts here at Atlas, it’s inspiring to watch the revolution grow with every passing year. We’ll be waiting impatiently for the next time this storm rolls back through Arizona.
Check out all the photos from the show!
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel