Kygo Steals the Show
by Ben Morris
Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll, or Kygo as he is better known, is a 26-year-old DJ from Norway. In the past couple of years, Kygo has been blowing up, as he recently surpassed over one billion total streams. Although he is considered an EDM musician, Kygo’s music has more of a chill vibe instead of the hardcore dubstep most people associate with EDM.
On May 5, Kygo brought his “Kids in Love Tour” to Chicago. One of the draws to the show was special guest, BlackBear. However, unbeknownst to many of the fans, BlackBear actually cancelled his performances for the next few shows. While it was upsetting, the rest of the night was able to lift the spirits of those fans right back up. A less well known DJ stepped in as the opening act, and although his set was much longer than expected (roughly an hour), fans were entertained as they filed into the United Center.
One of the more interesting aspects of the show was the wristbands that people were given on their way in. The light-up bracelets allowed for the light show to not only shine on stage, but all across the arena, which created quite a spectacle.
Just past 9:00 p.m., as the restlessness waiting for the main act was at its peak, the lights shut off and the crowd erupted in screams. A spotlight then shined down from above to reveal Kygo sitting behind his DJ equipment a top a 10 foot stand. Finally, the first song, “Never Let You Go,” featuring John Newman, began to blare through the speakers. Shortly after the song, Kygo addressed the crowd and said how excited he was to return and perform in Chicago. He then followed up with one of his earlier hits, “Stay.”
After a few more melodious songs with smooth transitions in between each that allowed the crowd to continue to dance, Kygo played one of his newer hits, “Remind Me to Forget,” featuring Miguel. The chorus echoed across every inch of the United Center, not just because of the song itself, but because of the thousands singing along to it.
About a third of the way through the show, fans were given a little treat. As another new hit, “Stargazing,” began to play, Chicago native Justin Jesso ran out on stage to sing. Jesso who is becoming a breakout artist because of the song, gave an electrifying performance for his hometown fans. After this, Kygo followed up with two covers. The first was of Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire,” which seemed a bit unconventional at first, but actually played out well and fit with the overall vibe of the show. The second, which also came as a surprise, was of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing.” While neither cover was expected, Kygo was able to add his own unique twist on both songs, which was a great addition to the show.
As the show began to wind down, Kygo concluded the pre-encore portion with two of his biggest hits. The first, “Stole the Show,” was a show in itself. The featured artist on the track, Parson James, came out and danced all over the X-shaped stage as he sang, which made the song extra fun. After James exited, Kygo then played his biggest hit to date, “It Ain’t Me,”--a collaboration with Selena Gomez. Nearly every person in attendance could be heard singing the summer 2017 anthem.
After returning for his encore after a short break, Kygo then played the song after which the album and tour were subsequently named: “Kids in Love.” The song, which features The Night Game, has a more uptempo beat than many of Kygo’s other songs. However, the hit song ensured that the crowd had more energy than ever, despite the show coming to close. For his final song of the evening, Kygo played “Firestones,”--his second most popular song. The featured artist, Conrad Sewell, came out to sing as well. Kygo began the song slowly, playing it on the piano. After a few minutes, he then ran back up to his DJ tower, and the played the original version, to which fans began their final dance of the evening. Sewell matched the enthusiasm, singing loudly and passionately as he urged everyone to sing with him. After the song, which marked the end of the show, fans began to exit the United Center, all describing which part left them in awe the most.