Kaytranada Shuts Down Chicago

That moment when you are beyond grateful you only spent $30 to see one of the best concerts in your adult life… 

..Kaytranada put on one hell of a show last night and proved to me that my generation does, in fact, know how to get down at a live DJ set.

I was introduced to Kaytranada’s music only about a year ago (not realizing I had indeed heard him several times prior), and I am mindblown at the diversity and maturity of his fans that came out last night. Many smaller venues in Chicago are promoting 18+ shows, so when my friends and I walked into the ballroom and saw that everyone looked much older, I knew it was going to be one hell of a dance party.

This is the second show I’ve attended at Concord Music Hall, and aside from the shaky floor and incredibly trebled bass system, you can get a great view from just about anywhere in the room. The show started on time, the overall energy of the audience was solid, and I discovered two new DJs (Lou Phelps & Sahar Habibi) that really know how to blend decades of music.

Live DJ sets have taken center stage in the entertainment industry and realm of concerts, and one of life’s greatest pleasures is dancing in a room full of individuals that appreciate different artists, and more importantly have rhythm. There is also something to be said about female DJs: they are currently outnumbered by men, but seemingly some of the most down to earth women I have ever come in contact with. That’s not to say that Lou Phelps didn’t come with his own heat, too.

Both Lou and Sahar played everything from Michael Jackson, N.E.R.D., Chance the Rapper, The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, Bell Biv Devoe, Erykah Badu, Robin Thicke, and toward the end of the set, remixed a few of Kaytranada’s beats. From the light show and projector visuals, to the beautiful faces in the crowd and simply appreciating that this was my first concert in month (since the Pardon My French Tour in April) – I give this show a 10/10. 

I was caught by surprise at how quickly each DJ wrapped up their set and at the production crew clearing the stage for the next act. Assuming there would be at minimum a ten-minute intermission in between sets, Kaytranada started spinning almost immediately after the second act – and the entire audience seemed to be in awe at the continuity of the show.

Kaytranada (who originally started his career as Kaytradamus) has released several EPs, mixtapes, singles, and has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the electronic/dance category since he was introduced to the scene in 2010 – with his first studio album 99.9% (May 2016) being a success. Although this is my first time seeing him perform, I have watched several videos of his sets in other cities, and I have to admit that his transitions were perfectly clear and precise last night. Practice makes perfect and he is an example of what this old-time saying means. Not only did Kaytranada look like he was having a blast, but his smile showed that he felt the love from a city that’s known to be full of haters. 

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After checking YouTube videos of his sets in other cities, I was looking forward to hearing tracks from all of his projects – which he graced us with. From At All to Kaleidescope Love (ft. AlunaGeorge), You’re The One, Girl (The Internet) to Drive Me Crazy (the list goes on) the night was simply perfect, or “lit”, as we tend to describe “fun”, nowadays. Might I add, everyone lost it when he played Chance’s “All Night” – which was totally appropriate at the time.

Kaytranada’s beats were in-synch with the visuals while the crowd was on cloud nine. Projector artwork featured promo visuals from the 99.9% album art, stills from ‘90s R&B videos, balloons, and what appeared to be kaleidoscopic images of pastel hues, shapes, and well, flowers. 

For the room to be jumping the way it was, the energy of the crowd was soulful and calm. Naturally, everyone was sporting their best smile and vibing with everyone in their circle. Kaytranda has become a household name on the producer/DJ roster, and his ability to combine hip hop, electronic, R&B, and funk is exactly why he had the power to create such a sundry fan base.