If you were about to doze off on Wednesday night (Aug. 15) to the strains of Seth Meyers’ soothing nasal voice, Grandson was on hand to wake you up with a buzzsaw of righteous poetry. The singer/activist stormed the stage of Late Night for a lapel-grabbing run through his revolutionary anthem “Blood//Water” that made it clear that complacency is not an option.
Backed by a fierce three-piece band, the seemingly mild-mannered vocalist kicked off the song’s reggae-groove first verse with a touch of island lilt in his voice as he sang “What you gon’ do/ When there’s blood in the water/ The price of your greed/ Is your son and your daughter.” His eyes closed and mostly hidden behind a mop of curly hair, Grandson then let loose, jerking around the stage as the band broke into a spiky, air raid siren jam set to his frenzied refrain of “when there’s blood in the water.”
The song, a (slightly) more pop-spiked take on Rage Against the Machine’s activist rap-rock segued into a spoken word mid-section where Grandson addressed the crowd directly, his voice rising to a near yelp with each new revelation. “Good evening America. I have come to your television to remind you that when we stand together collectively there’s nothing that we cannot accomplish. You know why that is? I am the people. I am the storm. I am the riot! I am the swarm.”
“Blood//Water” appears on Grandson’s brand-new EP, Broken Down, Vol. 1.
Watch the performance below.