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By: Tim Jordan
Standing still was not an option Saturday October 8 at the Paradise Rock Club. Louis Kevin Celestin or KAYTRANADA—an eclectic genre-bender out of Montreal played DJ for the night, mixing originals for a stomping, jumping, jiving floor audience.
Touring for his electronic funk/R&B inspired debut album, 99.9%, KAYTRANADA jam-packed the sold out popular Boston club venue. A bobbing and thoroughly engaged crowd kept time unanimously to forward, clippy percussion, bouncing, synthy keys, and naturally melodic bass lines.
The ninth track on 99.9%, “GLOWED UP” begins with a simple staccato riff over an eerie ghoulish high-pitched whine, and is seamlessly interrupted by drums, bass, and the casual yet somehow assertive voice of the track feature, Anderson .Paak. And as Paak’s voice cracked and the deep bass followed, the groove came alive and there wasn’t a still body on the floor. Arms were high and heads low, knees bent and all angles and feet swept, knocked, and slid. Hips! Wheeling and swinging and it seemed everyone was simply rocking together.
Meanwhile Celestin looked like he could have been waiting for a bus—casually nodding his head with the music, adjusting knobs and dials like he was setting a thermostat. Only once did Celestin step out from behind the controls and throw the crowd some dance moves—chiefly the infamous “dab.” Behind him flashed a rotating interpretation of his 99.9% album art—a simple yet immensely effective visual. And during an older song, a 2013 single called “At All,” a video played behind the stage depicting Celestin interacting with various female body builders.
Fans loved the hat-tip to his older music while he continued his casual bus-stop head-bob. But his low-key presence did not seem to deter the crowd from lighting up when the chart-leader and apparent crowd-pleaser, “GOT IT GOOD,” featuring Craid David began. Other notable tracks were “LITE SPOTS” and Badbadnotgood’s feature, “WEIGHT OFF.” Filling up the Paradise Rock Club with every over-18 demographic thinkable, KAYTRANANDA’s electric eccentricity left fans in a kind of wide-eyed awe, like glistening post-marathon athletes. Sweat stained backs of fully satisfied concertgoers became visible when the lights came on after a close to two-hour set.