Photos and Review by Emily Gringorten

Zhu brought the Grace Tour to a sold out Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Friday October 20, 2023. The San Francisco native kicked off a weekend residency in the Bay, concluding with a stint at the Midway with deadmau5, who also opened up this show under his techno alias Testpilot. Around 9:15 PM, the enigmatic artist known for his unique blend of electronic, dance, and house music took us on a mesmerizing sonic journey.

One by one, members of his band walked single file onstage before facing his huge platform screen, taking a knee, and lining up with their backs toward us in front of the LED wall. They opened the show with the ethereal “Take My Soul” to set the tone for the evening, and the band then took their places inside behind the platform screen. Zhu spent the show bouncing between singing on the stage and standing atop this platform, assuring that every last attendee had a great view. The visual effects and lighting design added another layer to the experience, enhancing the music with a kaleidoscope of colors and patterns.

Highlights included his Skrillex collaboration “Working for It,” “Cocaine Model,” and his smash hit “Faded,” which he teased earlier in his set and then played in full to close out the show. His live band was great, featuring a drummer, guitarist, and saxophone players who stole the show during their solos. Zhu played a great mix of songs from old and new projects, some of my favorites being “Automatic,” “Sky is Crying,” and “Palm of My Hand.” He also played some more vocal-based tracks like “Hometown Girl,” proving that his singing skills are not to be overlooked.

The Grace Tour continues to snake through the US, with stops in LA, Oregon, Colorado, and Utah still incoming. If you’re looking for a night of good vibes, pounding bass, and stellar sounds, be sure to check out Zhu!