Granada Theatre – Dallas, Texas – October 17, 2019 | Words and Photos by Cassie Preston
So here’s the deal, I’m going to tell you the 100% true unedited version of how I discovered Gibbz. My friend and I decided to walk out the right side door of the Granada (you know the side with the weird step bridge?) so we could smoke a joint before Saint Motel came on. Disclaimer : I had already muled into the venue what would be way too many airplane bottles for the evening. If you can’t tell, we didn’t give a fuck and we certainly didn’t give a fuck about the opener, Gibbz. So, I’m standing in the side alley, jumping side to side trying to stay warm while we’re breaking the law. I can hear the muffled stereo music of the opener. I exhale and pass, “He sounds alright”. We scurry back inside through the side door (by the way, how have I never been thrown out by a door man?) and shuffle into the middle of the crowd. I remember looking to my friend and shrugged, “he’s good”. But then, I started watching what he was doing. He was playing notes on his keyboard and guitar … recording it … playing it back if he liked how it sounded and then put it on repeat. He was playing new notes on his keyboard and guitar .. and by the looks of it, tuning the guitar while singing. Now, I am far from musically or technologically inclined so I may have this all completely wrong. But I am telling you, Gibbz was doing four or five things at one time. I grabbed my friend’s arm, “No, this guy is REALLY good!”.
For the record, there was absolutely no funny business from me this past Saturday night when I’m entering the Granada Theatre once again. I’m standing near the front of the stage, scrolling and drinking a beer. I hear some girls dressed in that weird 90s costume-streetwear-clothes slurring to one another, “I think I’m going to get drunk tonight.” Girls, live your most authentic life. The only bad part is it’s most likely going to be on Angry Orchard or Corona Light. I finally hear an extremely loud question directed at me, “What do you do?” It’s those same slurry girls with Xs on their hands. I wonder if they smuggled airplane bottles in, also? “I’m a photographer. I work for a media company.”. She laughs, “And here you are! Drinking a beer and being a photographer!”. I smile. I’m fairly certain majority of the crowd here is for Cherub, an electronic – pop duo famous for their, “Doses & Mimosas” song. But I’m here to tell you about one of the most talented musicians out there that no one knows about … and should. The opener, Gibbz.
New York native, Mike Gibney has created the stage presence : Gibbz. After the show I talked with Gibney, I can’t help but notice there seems to be a clear defining line between himself and that persona. Gibney is personable, easy to talk to and pretty interesting. He tells me an equally moving and horrific story about why he became a vegetarian. It involves a cow that escaped from a slaughterhouse and I will spare you the details, the story doesn’t end well. While Gibbz … honestly, doesn’t seem to give a fuck. The music Gibney has created is meticulously crafted to be this sexy version of electronic pop with R&B undertones.
He opens his set with upbeat and catchy songs like, Higher Than I’ve Ever Been Before, Bright Lights and Open Your Arms. But the song that really wins the crowd over (which won me over originally) was, “Love Again”. It’s then that some dude who looks like he shops at the same store his father, tells the girls near me, “I looked this guy up! He’s the bomb.” Well at least, Performance Polo does his homework. “Love Again” is probably the best song to introduce people to his music, it’s upbeat but also accessible. Hasn’t everyone fallen in love after they swore they would never again? It’s in this song, you can really understand Gibney’s process of layering the recording and looping certain chords. And it blows my mind how “Love Again” can sound so different depending on the performance. Gibbz slowly brings in some of his soft and sultry songs. He proudly introduces, “Oh My God” by saying, “This is a song about fucking.”. As the night continues, he slowly opens up as an artist. He has this aura of genuine enjoyment from being on stage and having the opportunity to perform his music.
Gibbz finishes the night strong with his charming tongue-in-cheek writing. It could make you blush, but only after you’ve listened to the song a few times in order to really understand what he’s saying. Example? “Girl, just let me make you breakfast before we go another round // Don’t need to be so selfish acting like you haven’t had this” (“Get You Some”). Or my personal favorite, “I want to look right ya in your eyes but I want both hands on your thighs” (“I Really Love You”). And that’s the song he actually ends the night with. FYI in the song, he actually sings, “I [ censor ] Love You”. Because, we’ve all been in that kind of love, right?
Here’s the deal, I don’t know why Gibbz hasn’t hit into “mainstream”. He’s much more dedicated than these popular artists who are pumping out sub-par music for the sake of a paycheck. Mike Gibney is extremely talented in his musical abilities and in his writing. He’s charming, well spoken and pays attention to the details. All I can do by taking these photos and writing this, is to hope you go listen to him. Make yourself a stiff drink, turn the lights down and go get you some.
SET LIST :
- Higher Than I Ever Been Before
- Brights Lights
- Open Your Arms
- Love Again
- When You’re Alone
- I Am Not The One
- Oh My God
- Feel Good
- I Found You
- Temporarily Fine
- Get You Some
- Stay For Awhile
- I Really Love You
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