Local electronic producer Kaytranada released his solo effort 99.9% early this month and it has been receiving widespread acclaim. On Thursday May 19th, the young artist showcased his richly detailed body of work in his home city of Montréal, QC. Outside the doors of Le Métropolis, there were even tons of people trying to buy tickets to the sold out show. The venue was packed shoulder to shoulder with eccentric fans who were vibing to the opening set with passion; it had me eager to see what the crowd would look like when the main act came on.
High Klassified and Louie P opened the show with their own lively sets that got the whole dance floor heated. The latest Skepta album, Konnichiwa, was sampled heavily throughout High Klassified’s set; in particular, robust versions of “Ladies Hit Squad” and “It Ain’t Safe” got everyone feeling those heavy grime instrumentals while the DJ threw a familiarized twist on them.
Both DJs played the platinum selling smash hit “Panda” by Desiigner that got everyone in a dabbing craze. Nothing but good vibes were floating through the auditorium as more and more people filled up the space.
Louie P opened up his set with “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” from Kanye West’s latest offering, The Life of Pablo, which came out earlier this year. This only got the audience’s energy levels higher. The people were ready: next up was the act we’d all been getting hyped to see mix on stage: Kaytranada.
As Kaytranada walked towards his equipment, he looked comfortably at ease with his place on stage. The presence of the electronic musician made the whole venue reek of energy; just his entrance alone made me feel like it was going to be a wild night.
Appropriately named “Track Uno” off his debut album kicked off the set and had everyone vibing hard to his presence. The groovy bassline was perfect and established the setting for what everyone could expect to dance to in the following hours.
However, when Kaytra started playing “Glowed Up,” which features juicy vocals from Anderson .Paak, his equipment started to malfunction. The song would play for a few seconds before the sound would completely turn off. Typically in this kind of scenario any artist would most likely feel an immense amount of stress, especially for their debut album in the city they grew up in. But for Kaytranada it was no big deal as he took to the mic and said “Go ahead and boo me, I’m still here. I don’t give a fuck!”. This aroused the crowd even more and had everyone cheering his name in support. As Le Métroplis employees came onto the stage to fix his equipment, the young artist boasted his beat boxing skills for a couple of seconds before everything was managed to get fixed. Kaytra was able to play “Glowed Up” as originally planned and executed the song perfectly, as if the whole mishap with his equipment was all an act.
One thing I noticed at one point during the show was how many people had their phones out and filming. This stood out more particularly where I was standing as the whole crew of people that stood directly in front of me filmed almost half the show. It didn’t effect my enjoyment of the concert but it was extremely frustrating to witness. At one point I saw someone in the midst of the crowd take a phone call. What’s the point? How can you even hear what anyone is saying on the phone when you’re in such a packed venue with incredible music playing? I noticed this happening more while “Together” was being mixed. How anyone could ignore Alunageorge’s intoxicating singing on this track is unfathomable. Not only does Alunageorge deliver a solid performance on this track but Goldlink spits a wild flow overtop of the spacey instrumentals.
During one of my favorite songs “Lite Spots,” a mini dance circle formed within the middle of the venue. One couple skillfully showed off their breakdancing techniques to the outside of the circle. They exhibited such an amazing chemistry together that was inspiring to watch. As spectators observed the couple in awe, the rest of the tightly packed audience was able to lose themselves in the midst of the song.
Whenever you hear news of Kaytranada coming to town, you should prioritize getting a ticket immediately — before they sell out. Leaving the venue I was able to quickly chat with someone who has been a fan of the producer ever since he gained traction back in 2012. I was told that of all three shows that he had seen Kaytranada perform, the one that he had just put on was without a doubt his most ridiculous. I took his word on it since I felt like I was leaving something that was truly monumental.
Review by Michael Eidelson.