KAYTRANADA in the zone
It has been quite some time that I have personally posted a “From A Fan’s Perspective” concert review, and I believe it is just as well. This space is truly reserved for those musicians I’m a fangirl for, so it is quite appropriate that this post is a review of my faveeee DJ right now, KAYTRANADA. If you have been reading for a little bit, you would have noticed back in June that we had a review for Disclosure x KAYTRANADA at Output written by the lovely Jasmine, but this was now my moment to experience the man behind the decks. Disclaimer, I was there truly as a fan, so these photos were taken on my phone.
On Thursday October 9th, KAYTRANADA headlined at the Music Hall of Williamsburg as part of his North American tour. He was joined by fellow DJ openers, Obey City (known for his work with the Flatbush Zombies), and BBC Radio mainstay, Benji B. Brooklyn-based Obey City brought the beats with a cool ’90s vibe, some tracks remixed to fit his own groove, starting his set shortly after 8 PM. Since doors were at 8 PM, he was playing for a scant room at first, but folks steadily trickled in to get the energy going.
At approximately 9/9:30 PM sets changed and it was time for London’s own Benji B. He looped the first track of his set a number of times to tease the crowd, but when he finally let the beat drop and we realized it was “Gon Stay” from SBTRKT’s latest featuring Sampha, we knew we were in for a JAM. He steadily continued the jams, inserting a number of British artists into his set including more from Sampha, Wiley, JME, and Jai Paul. The wiggles slowly started to come out, and we were allowed to stretch out as we decided to take seats in the mezzanine, as opposed to the floor.
As the hour got closer to 10 PM, I started to become anxious, because I’m a nerd obviously. Benji B got on the mic and proceeded to say, “Brooklyn! Are you ready for KAYTRANADA?”, and the crowd went wild. His set wound down, equipment was switched, and a few minutes after 10 PM, KAYTRANADA hit the stage. This show was sold out, and in this moment, you could truly see how packed the music hall became.
KAYTRANADA greeting fans
He warmed up the crowd with some cuts from the ’70s, which he is known for, and wasted no time to get into his remix of Missy Elliott’s “I’m Really, Really Hot”. This jammy jam awakened the senses of the crowd, myself included, and there was nowhere else to go from there but up. I attended with four friends, and in this time, we made sure all of our belongings were set aside on chairs so we could freely move, and dance to the beat. His set stayed strong, followed up with his Teedra Moses “Be Your Girl” remix, and MNEK’s “I Wrote A Song About You” remix, which put the crowd in a frenzy, and which made me put down my phone and boogie to the max. The track is probably one of my most played songs on SoundCloud right now, a little ridiculous from an outsider perspective, but totally fine for me because the feel of it is just undeniable.
Kay Kay (as I call him in my head like we’re real life friends) continued with a solid set of disco jams interspersed with his incredibly popular remixes, as well as some originals. We got a taste of his AlunaGeorge “Kaleidoscope Love” remix, Common “I Want You” remix, and originals like “Hilarity Duff” and “At All”. The moment of truth was his performance of his incredibly popular remix of Janet Jackson’s “If”. As one of the tracks that really put him on the map, you could sense the excitement in the crowd when that beat dropped; it was magical, euphoric even. Booties were shaking, waists were twisting, and all hands were in the air. Other fun moments included a “Where Brooklyn At?!” interjection, and “Hot N*gga” interlude. Kay proceeded to do the Schmoney Dance across the stage, and throw his hat up in the air as the crowd danced along.
For my first time seeing KAYTRANADA after many failed attempts, I was so happy that I had such a great experience filled with friends, lots of dancing, and jams on jams! He continues to tour in both the U.S. and abroad until December, so be sure to check out his tour dates to see when he’s in your city. Not to be missed!
*Fuzzy photos made possible by Andrea’s iPhone “Boo Boo”*