With MayDay! and ArtOfficial
Revolution, Fort Lauderdale
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Better Than: Any of those overcrowded clubs in all of South Beach.
It was definitely a full-fledged rager on Saturday night as downtown Fort Lauderdale was flooded with out-of-towners and locals alike, drinking enough Sex on the Beach to will make anyone have, well, sex on the beach. Yet with all the madness and Girls Gone Wild-esque drama hurled at us outside, inside club Revolution was more of a civilized chaos. The headliner of the night, Canadian rapper K-os, is far from civilized. The man is a mad-scientist performer who can make anyone lose his mind -- and I mean this all in a good and positive way.
The last time K-os stepped into Gator-Nation was in Orlando, opening up for another Canadian, that little-known guy named Drake. Long before Drake became the biggest thing to music since Auto-Tune, K-os (real name: Kevin Brereton) was claiming Canada like nobody's business. His first major album release, titled Exit, took the North American continent by storm with its infectious single "Superstar Pt. Zero." That was 2002. Eight years later, K-os is still at it -- bigger, badder, and bolder than ever.
But before we delve into the main act, let's first give a quick
shoutout to openers ArtOfficial and MayDay! Even
though opener MayDay! looks more like a band of hairy gypsies, the music
By 11:20 p.m., the lights dimmed and psychedelic
Indian new-age music came filtering through the stage. The crowd
chanted "K-os" in unison, and once the man of the hour took the
spotlight, the small 350-plus audience roared like a packed 20,000-plus arena!
He started off his set with a new Radiohead-inspired track called
"Thom Saw Her" that samples the moody melody of "Reckoner" off In
Rainbows. Then from straight moody, he went to the classic b-boy jam of
"Superstar Pt. Zero" that got the entire place up-rocking and
shuffling. From there came "Zambony," a tribute to the microphone that K-os uses so very well. He then shares with the audience a
little secret. "Fort Lauderdale is a special place for me," he states,
"My parents live in Plantation, Florida!" The crowd cheers, and all of
a sudden, K-os is no longer a rapper from Canada but our hometown
From there, K-os takes us on a musical roller coaster. "Emcee Murdah" sounds the
alarm as the song's fusion of rock and rap is clearly expressed by
Kevin's multi-instrument abilities. Then from Kevin's guitar prowess,
he moves onto the keyboard with attached vocoder into "Astronaut,"
on which he channels his best T-Pain à la Mick Jagger. From Auto-Tune
brings "Heaven Only Knows," a folk-rock musical inspired by the Boogie
Down Bronx. Here, K-os shows off his musical virtuosity by the tail end of
the track as he requests lighters in the air while strumming Led
Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." Then from Zeppelin, the DJ brings in a
hip-hop break that gets the crowd singing "You down with O.P.P.!" Yeah,
you know us! By now, the audience is dancing their butts off, and it
was only appropriate that K-os takes us onto another hyped-up single titled "CatDiesel" that transformed Club Revolution into the B-52's'
Time to introduce the band. On guitar was Steve
Krecklo, on tabla (yes, tabla!) was Santosh Naidu, and manning the ones
and twos was DJ Lil' Jaz -- also known in the Canadian tabloids as
Nelly Furtado's baby daddy.
Up next, "Sunday Morning," one of K-os' biggest crossover hits; it was obvious that the band has much fun
playing this song on tour as one can note by witnessing the song's
end. From "Sunday Morning"'s wailing chorus, K-os soon breaks into U2's
"Sunday Bloody Sunday," then into an a cappella version of Rihanna's
"Umbrella" to finally David Bowie's "Space Oddity." Talk about a
The downtempo "The Aviator" is next, followed by the
uptempo "Uptown Girl" to the final song of the set, the highly amusing
"I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman." By now, K-os has proven that he is a
musical virtuoso, but to top it off, he brings out a harmonica and wails like a modern-day hip-hop Bob Dylan.
Of course, with an amazing
performance like this, K-os definitely deserves multiple encores, and
just like clockwork, K-os reenters the stage to perform "Vahalla" and
"Man I Used to Be" and a straight cover of Journey's "Don't Stop
Believing" that got everyone signing along.
From hip-hop to punk
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rock to psychedelic new age music infused with folk and reggae not to
mention, Journey... experiencing a K-os performance is a schizophrenic's
musical wet dream. K-os is the real deal with talent abounding. Drake,
eat your heart out.