​Keys N Krates' Madison performance proves EDM has the ability to evolve

Keys N Krates displayed their ability to grow and evolve as producers without losing their originality at the Majestic Theater.

Image By: Photo Courtesy of Erin Bates

Keys N Krates stole the stage last Wednesday, March 7, at the Majestic with their classic trap bass and beats. The Canadian trio consisting of Greg Dawson, Adam Tune and David Matisse are on tour for their recent album, CURA. Though most electronic shows consist of a producer behind a laptop, Keys N Krates introduced a unique element of live performance throughout their set.

Despite arriving in Madison for a mid-week show, Keys N Krates managed to pull a sizable crowd of dedicated fans to the show. Their openers, JUBILEE and Promnite got the crowd moving with DJ sets before the main show. Both openers played on the DJ stand at the front of the stage while the entirety of Keys N Krates’ equipment stayed covered in the back. The intrigue of what would be uncovered built anticipation and excitement for their performance.

Keys N Krates entered the stage at 10:30 p.m., staying true to their posted set times which is always an added bonus at a show. Their show was composed of Dawson on the turntables, Tune on the drums and Matisse on the keyboard. They began playing several songs from their new album, including “Inicio,” “Flute Loop” and “Music To My Ears.” Their recent album was widely based on a softer electronic style, rather than a heavy trap with large bass drops. The producers definitely wanted to showcase this. These new songs were a welcome change of pace — they sounded much better when performed live.

Despite creating a new sound for themselves, Keys N Krates still worked many of their classic hits into the set. Like many others, I was worried they would stick solely to their new album and would forget their past work, but that was not the case. Some older songs were reworked to fit into the live set but the audience was treated with a selection of songs from their previous work like “Treat Me Right” and “Dum Dee Dum.” Though the live versions sounded different, Keys N Krates managed to blend their older styles seamlessly into their new set.

The tour also chose to forego background visuals. Instead, it had only a light show during the performance. This choice seemed to fit into their new direction as a live electronic band and the absence was barely noticed. Many EDM shows incorporate all elements of production but it was clear Keys N Krates wanted their set to be focused on the music.

With a new album and a new concept, Keys N Krates displayed their ability to grow and evolve as producers without losing their originality. It can be hard at times to accept when a band changes their artistic direction but the CURA tour is an example of how smooth that transition can be. With a blend of new and old music, Keys N Krates left the crowd satisfied with an upbeat and energy-filled set. The electronic music genre is ever-changing but Keys N Krates proves that artists can shift their direction and still stay true to their fans.

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