By Sinejan Ozaydemir (Photo cred: Wendy Wei)
Last week, Toronto had the pleasure of a visit from Kygo on his Kids in Love Tour. It was a night filled with dancing, singing, and blinking lights at the ACC. Here are some ways Kygo showed us how to steal the show:
1. Cool stage design with plenty of pyro
X marks the spot! The stage was made up of multiple sections with raised elements and moving parts, not to mention a soaring screen at the back of the stage. There was a mirroring X shape to the stage, as an X shaped piece hung from the ceiling. As you can see in the photos and videos (here and on our instagram page), this design had crazy pyrotechnics coming from the base of the stage as well as the ceiling echoed this mirroring effect. They did use plenty of these FX throughout the show, it wasn’t just the one-off explosion of fire during the last song type of thing, which was impressive. The visuals up on the huge screens were of high quality and the camera angles from Kygo’s main control centre made us feel that much closer to the action. We were able to see him play multiple instruments close up and also had the pleasure of seeing fans' reactions on the big screen throughout the show as a live camera captured moments of joy. Overall extremely pleasing visually.
2. Play your own extensive catalogue of well known songs that the crowd expects
One thing we see more and more with artists who are not only producers but also instrumentalists, is the extensive catalogue of their own songs they play live. It creates a show that is less full of remixes of top 40 tracks and more full of songs the Toronto crowd knew oh-so-well. Kygo primarily played his own tunes, which I think the crowd was wanting an expecting. In fact, his fans were highly familiar with his work knowing lyrics to older songs as well as new releases. Did I mention they were also dancing non-stop?
3. Bring on phenomenal artists that know how to perform live and get the crowd pumped up
If you didn’t know, Kygo has been bringing live acts on tour with him for a long time now. He especially made headlines as he brought out numerous notable guests at Coachella. At the Toronto show, we were blessed with a few of those guests who were all great live performers. Parson James (’Stole the show’), Bonnie McKee (‘Riding Shotgun’ & 'This town’), Justin Jesso (‘Stargazing’ ‘Firestone’), and Jason Walker (’Sunrise’) lent their talented voices live and really knew how to work the stage! (We have posted short clips from each of the performances on our Instagram so make sure to check them out!)
4. Dont forget about the “live" aspect
A big complaint I hear from people, especially from people who don’t primarily go to EDM shows is that “nothing is really 'live'-the DJ/Producer is just pressing play on a track they have recorded ages ago and that we have heard on the radio hundreds or thousands of times”. Well, not that this is always true, this was definitely not the case on the Kids in Love tour as Kygo played every type of virtual instrument possible while recreating each song live. Also, as if that wasn’t enough to please any EDM lover, why not just go ahead and get a branded light-up piano and a live string section to “mix things up”. It definitely isn’t what most DJs do. We saw him on the big screen playing which ever instrument (whether it be one of the keyboards or pad boards, or the drum pad) and truly recreating the sound live. I thought that it was quite enjoyable to see him interact with the audience, switch between instruments, run up and down the stairs to get to the piano and the keyboard on the lower stage. It showed off his talent on and love of playing the keys. Definitely better than solely jumping up and down to music which would have been especially boring in the arena setting. Plus, that is our job!
5. Fun for everyone
One way to make sure that you get every one in a giant arena excited, is to ensure that they are all involved in every moment. Why not have a stage that is raised or that moves so every seat in the house is a great seat? The main section of the stage where Kygo resided for the majority of the show was raised up high above the main stage so that the 300 level seats were also the best seats in the house, as they had a direct view of the Kygo control station. The front of the stage where he had his beautiful branded piano was on an elevator so it raised up during the two songs he was down there, so that everyone got a great view. Another fun feature that kept us in-the-moment was the light-up bracelets we were provided. Not only did it create a visually pleasing atmosphere showing the grandeur of the room but also kept us excited as to when the one on our wrist would be on and which colour it would turn next. A fun little addition to the show which I think more artists, (especially in EDM) should use to add that extra little spark to a show.
Overall, the Toronto Kygo fans really enjoyed their time at the ACC with Kygo. The show had the best of both worlds: The live aspects of a non-EDM show and the crazy visuals and pyro elements we EDM fans know and love.