On Saturday January 23 Kygo made his final Cloud Nine Tour stop for his North American leg of the tour. Unfortunately I’ll have to report that his show did not put me on cloud nine, in fact this could have been the worst show I have been to in a long time. Fortunately for Kygo this isn’t a review about the actual music he plays.
***DISCLAIMER: I am not a Kygo hater, in fact I do enjoy his music and tropical house as a whole, though it’s not my first choice of EDM sub-genre of choice. This is my opinion of the show which can differ from yours and that’s fine.***
It has been cool seeing how far Kygo has come in almost 2 years. At Electric Forest 2014 there was no long line to meet him at the ThisSongIsSick.Com artist booth. Later in the day he played at the forest stage to no more than a few hundred fans. Fast forward a few years and add a couple of songs that blast nonstop on the most popular radio stations, and you get booked by the largest EDM Promotion Company in the Midwest (React Presents) to play a show at Chicago’s largest venue Navy Pier. React claims there were 12,000+ fans at the show.
Let me get to my point.
Organization or lack there of:The troubles with this show started early, the tickets said doors open at 6:00 PM, so the group of friends I went with came a bit fashionably late since our main focus of interest is Kygo. Arrivingcloser to 7:00 PM and getting through security we notice that the main stage area is closed. Doors open at 7:30 PM someone said. I didn’t pay too much attention to this, figured I can get a beer from the bar and chill in that time. Doors didn’t open till around 7:45 Pm almost two hours from the time the tickets advertised doors opening. The first opener came on maybe at 8:00 PM. This mystery musician played live on an electric percussion and a guitar while mixing in some tropical house. Too bad he lasted roughly 40 min. Then we had a 20 min break of nothing. Second opener came on around 9:00 PM also playing roughly 40 min, followed by yet another pause this time stretching to almost 30 Min.
Sound Trouble: This is only limited tot he two openers microphones. Whether their volume as up too high or not set up correctly you couldn’t hear a word they said. To this day I don’t know who the openers were. Some people dislike navy pier claiming it has bad acoustics, this maybe true but I had no issued with the music sound during this show, Skrillex or Kaskade when seem them at Navy Pier.
Over Production: I never though it have an issue with a show putting on a great production, from CO2 cannons, confetti, streamers, lights and of course a ton of lasers, Kygo had it all. Unfortunately none of it made sense to the tempo of his music. Facebook comments read ” Kygo trying to make up for his shitty music with great production” I don’t think his music is shitty (you either like to listen to tropical house or you don’t) but dub-step and Big Room DJs wish they had all the toys he brought with him.
Guest Performers: Kygos 1+ hours of performing almost made up for the lack of music for almost 2 hours of the show. He brought out several performers that added vocals to his tracks making them perform the songs live with him. That was a plus; but dropping 3-4 hip-hop/rap/r&b song remixes and having R Kelly perform on stage was a big no thank you for me.
This show was produced like a concert not an EDM show. The long transitions between the acts totally killed any momentum or vibe generated by each artist. Kygo as a headliner was mainly good but he couldn’t make up for the distaste in my mouth I have accrued over the 4+ hours of me being at the show just for him. I’m glad he was able to blow up on the scene to the point where promotion companies will bank and attract to the events he performs at, but i will not pay for another show he headlines. I’ll catch him at a festival when i can walk to a different stage if I don’t like the way things are going, and where the net DJ starts up immediately after one finishes.
Check out the photo gallery below.: