Photos and Writing by Kenny Brown
Jordan Benjamin, aka Grandson, is on a mission. A mission to make the world a better place. A place where everyone is treated with equality and respect, where everyone gets the help and care they need, where everyone can feel safe regardless of the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, or their gender identity. Following the release of his debut full length album, Death of an Optimist, Grandson is bringing that mission on the road with Grandson Presents: Death of a Tour. Grandson stopped by The Underground in Charlotte, NC Tuesday March 22.
Two hours before the doors opened the Grandkids (as he affectionately refers to the fans) were already lined up down the sidewalk excited for the show.
First up was Oxymorrons from Queens, NY. Their high energy blend of rock and hip hop had the entire crowd bouncing for the full 30 minute set.
Royal & The Serpent, who Grandson affectionately referred to as his little sis, took the stage next. The audience seemed to feel deeply connected to Royal’s mix of pop-punk and experimental alt-rock, singing along loudly with hands in the air.
The Grandkids roared into an explosion of excitement when Grandson took the stage. They danced, jumped, and sang along with every line through the 15 song setlist which included an acapella version of Bury Me Face Down and an acoustic version of The Ballad of G and X. I frequently heard screams of “We love you Jordan!” and even some “We love you Ramon!”, referring to Grandson’s touring guitarist Ramon Blanco. When Grandson left the stage at the end of the set the crowd began chanting “one more song, one more song!” to which Grandson returned to the stage and responded “How about two more songs?”. For the encore song Blood//Water, he handed out bottles of water to the audience and asked them to open the bottles and sling the water around when he gave the signal. The signal came during the first chorus, and the water went flying all over the excited Grandkids. Near the end of Blood//Water he kindly asked the Grandkids if they would catch him if he jumped, then as the audience wound up to “What’s your alibi? What’s your alibi? What you gonna do when there’s BLOOD IN THE WATER???” he leapt into the audience and surfed the crowd to finish out an amazing night.
Royal & The Serpent Gallery
Grandson Presents: Death of a Tour continues on across the U.S. through April 8.