Keys N Krates electrify Westcott Theater

Keys N Krates electrify Westcott Theater

Review: Familiarize yourself with that EDM group that relies more on instruments than their laptops.
Published: January 26, 2018
Keys N Krates at Westcott Theater
Keys N Krates opens its Thursday show a the Westcott Theater with songs from their 2013 album, "Solow."

Westcott Theater was filled with pounding bass, strobe lights, and three ebullient Canadian performers that entertained the crowd with an eclectic mix of hip-hop and instrumentals. Keys N Krates rewarded the small venue with their greatest hits and newest releases from their upcoming album Cura, which dropped Janaury 26 — two days after they started their 2018 North American tour. The tour began in Buffalo, New York, and will finish in their hometown of Toronto, Canada.

Starting at 9 p.m., South Florida-raised Jubilee opened with a relaxing track that played as guests filed closer to the stage; it was perfect background noise for friends to mingle and order drinks in preparation for the headliner. Immediately following her last track, Falcons entered onto to the stage and immediately lit up the crowd with his mix of EDM and Top 40.

Nathan Custer, an avid fan of Keys N Krates, said Falcons was a little “all over the place.” But, the crowd seemed to enjoy his setlist as energy levels and excitement was up to par for the final act. And, Keys N Krates were definitely prepared to to perform; a snapchat story from the group indicated that they enjoyed a nice dinner at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que while Falcons was playing.

Key N Krates at Westcott Theater
Keys N Krates perform at the Westcott Theater on Thursday.

Right around 11:30 p.m., Keys N Krates smoothly and calmly entered the stage as they started their set out with a simple sound. Three spotlights hit each member: Adam Tune on the drums, David Matisse on the keyboard, and Jr. Flo aka Greg Dawson on the turntables.

With their collected start, they gradually amped up the crowd by playing songs from their 2013 album Solow. Each track was like a story, the intro broke down into a calculated rhythm with each member’s instruments.


Led by pianist David Matisse, he constructed the setlist to include a variety of the group’s hit tracks from their previous albums, and even a few spoilers as to what their next album Cura would focus on, which would release the next day. They played hits such as Hypnotique, a crowd favorite, and a remix of their hit song Keep it 100. This song was also featured in a TV promo for the new Minions movie.

Keys N Krates played a combined mix of Do What U Do and My Night (feat. 070 Shake), two new tracks that were released days before their Syracuse performance. Their final pre-encore track was the notably popular, Dum Dee Dum, and everyone in the audience seemed to be appreciating the familiar sound.

The audience ranged from ages 18-25 and frequented Westcott Theater for years. A local Syracuse fan described his ability to see Keys N Krates at both major music festivals and an intimate venue in his hometown as “the perfect combination.”

An audience member, Mara, recently left the hospital to see them perform.

“I have been trying to see Keys N Krates for years. This was my early birthday present from my fiancé,” she said. “I actually left the hospital to come see them. I figured my hernia could wait

Keys N Krates’ eclectic use of instrumentals and capacity to create their own sound without any aid from Top-40 songs made their concert a completely original experience. They weren’t just a few guys standing in front of laptops, which is what sets them apart from other electronic groups.

The set finished with their single Glitter, straight off their 2018 album Cura. Lead conductor Matisse was replaced with Jr. Flo at the mic as he asked the audience to “close out the show with us.” Even with their incredible sound, a good number of people left before the encore. Keys N Krates have an amazing stage presence, but would be better suited for a more densely packed audience than what Westcott can offer.