Concert Reviews Festival Review Music

KAYTRAMINÉ extends the Summer with a heated Performance at OfF Piknic 

The high-energy rapper-producer duo composed of Aminé and KAYTRANADA kicked off their joint tour in Montreal on September 7.

On Sept. 7, famed producer KAYTRANADA and Aminé—known together as KAYTRAMINÉ—kicked off their sold-out joint tour for their album of the same name in KAYTRANADA’s hometown of Montreal. The performance was held in open air at Parc Jean-Drapeau as part of OfF Piknic, a series of concerts that follows the summer-long Piknic Électronik festival. The duo played joint and then individual sets for a crowd of 8,000 people, cycling through the entirety of their collaborative album as well as songs from their respective solo catalogues.

The show included three openers. Montreal hip-hop trio Planet Giza kicked things off with a DJ set consisting mostly of vintage hip-hop, with Aminé’s tour DJ Madison LST following up with a mix of current hip-hop hits such as Ice Spice’s “Deli” and Sexyy Red’s “SkeeYee,” which lit up the crowd. Lou Phelps’ set was the perfect tone-setter for KAYTRAMINÉ: his style is a perfect blend of laid-back, chill hip-hop akin to Aminé and occasional smooth bouncy production courtesy of KAYTRANADA himself—who happens to be Lou Phelps’ blood brother. 

Just off their first track “Who He Iz?,” it became immediately clear that KAYTRAMINÉ is a captivating duo. Aminé’s rapping style is filled with confidence and conviction, and his occasional shouting of his punchlines makes boastful lines like “we make heat shit, y’all make weak shit” resonate even stronger with the crowd. KAYTRANADA matched the Portland rapper’s energy with ease, bouncing along behind the ones and twos and ad-libbing in between Aminé’s lines. 

The duo not only fed off each other, but also the crowd: Aminé’s frequent use of call-and-response had the audience namely chanting the hooks of “letstalkaboutit,” “UGH UGH” and “Master P”  back to him, as well as getting hands to bounce and people to jump throughout the crowd. Chiara Strollo, a second-year TESL student who was in attendance, commends the duo for their lively and inviting stage presence: “I love when an artist makes you feel like their friend and like you’re all there to have a good time together.”

After a brief break, Aminé would re-emerge and start performing other hits from his catalogue. He performed cuts from his 2022 and 2020 projects TWOPOINTFIVE and Limbo like “Charmander” and “Shimmy,” even going as far back as his 2017 debut album to perform “Spice Girl.” The chorus to his 2018 hit “REEL IT IN” spread through the crowd like wildfire after being suddenly dropped and the slow-burning live version of “Caroline”—his biggest solo hit—proved effective. Fans sang along before the drums finally kicked in, releasing the crowd’s bubbling hype into jumps.

KAYTRANADA followed suit with an infectious DJ set that no concertgoer could resist dancing along to. His medley of songs included his remixes of Sam Gellaitry’s “Assumptions” and Teedra Moses’ “Be Your Girl,” “LITE SPOTS,” and a yet-unreleased remix of Beyoncé’s “CUFF IT.” 

Aminé joined him once again to perform their 2015 collaboration “LA DANSE,” after giving a shout out to the Montreal producer for reaching out and gifting him with free beats during that period. The pair closed the show with some of the biggest hits on KAYTRAMINÉ such as “Rebuke” and “Sossaup,” with the Pharrell Williams-assisted lead single “4EVA” rounding out the entire performance.

Before the crowd could fully spill out amid chants of “olé olé olé,” the swarm of fans that had begun leaving ran back towards the stage as the lights dimmed down again and KAYTRANADA’s hit single “Intimidated” began playing. Fans were treated to an encore and a second serving of “4EVA,” which upped the energy and wrapped up the show on an even more lively note. 

With both artists toting the flag of their respective ethnic background (Ethiopia and Haiti), the show truly felt like a celebration commemorating their heritage, their joining of forces and the pride KAYTRANADA has brought to his home city.

Parc Jean-Drapeau proved to be an ideal venue as the outdoor area perfectly complemented the bright, bouncy and summery instrumentals on their album. Given the club-ready and danceable qualities of KAYTRANADA’s production, the space augmented the party concept to a larger extent. With volleyball courts, ping-pong tables and an entire area dedicated to food and drink trucks and merchandise, the site entertained, served, and accommodated the crowd with ease, while also leaving enough room to keep everything spread out. “It wasn’t too crowded and the overall vibe of the people was great,” Strollo explains.

KAYTRAMINÉ showed and received overwhelming love to and from the people of Montreal, successfully starting off their tour with a bang. Attendee and fourth-year human relations student Alfred Umasao describes the abundance of local artists as “Seeing Montreal artists do what they do best.” Umasao has no regrets from attending the show: “I got my money’s worth for sure.”

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