Kygo’s Spectacular Return To Red Rocks

Kygo, known to family and friends as Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll, is a world-renowned producer, songwriter, and DJ. This Norweigan prodigy caught the music industry’s attention with his remix of Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” in 2013. Soon after, his tropical house track “Firestone” also blew up, skyrocketing his career into something unspeakable. This 29 year-old has accumulated billions (yes, billions) of streams on Spotify alone since his first release.

Over the years, Kygo has performed at countless venues and festivals worldwide including TomorrowWorld, EDC Las Vegas, and Ultra Music Festival. Some of Kygo‘s most well-known tracks include “It Ain’t Me” with Selena Gomez, “Stole The Show” (feat. Parson James), and “Higher Love” with Whitney Houston. All of these songs are a perfect example of his signature lighthearted, upbeat, feel-good sound.

The Rebirth Of Red Rocks

Nestled in the hills near Morrison, Colorado, lies Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. This beautiful outdoor venue was opened in 1941 and hosts various events including concerts, film screenings, yoga classes, and more. This past year, they adapted to COVID-19 restrictions when possible by hosting drive-in movie screenings and limited-capacity shows. Furthermore, they took this time off to completely renovate the stage to help protect artists from inclement weather.

On Thursday, June 24th, Kygo returned to Red Rocks for the first time since 2018. This show was one of the first full-capacity shows that Red Rocks has been able to hold since the COVID-19 pandemic, and Kygo’s first live show in 18 months!

Once parked in one of the four main parking lots, attendees make the trek up to the venue either by stairs or a long ramp. Upon getting their tickets scanned, each attendee received a plastic bracelet with Kygo’s logo on it. This show had reserved seating, except for the top section which was dedicated to general admission ticket-holders. Various food and drink vendors are set up along the sides of the amphitheater as well as at the very top of the 193 stairs. Each show typically has two merchandise booths, with one at the Lower South entrance and one at the top near the visitor center.

Forester Up First

By the time that music started, the entire venue was almost full. Attendees were extremely excited to make their way into the venue and get settled for the night, so lines were already forming at restrooms and food and drink stands before the music even started. The first group to hit the stage was Forester. This indie-electronic duo is based in Los Angeles and was formed in 2019. In a few short years, they already have a record deal with Palm Tree Records as well as millions of streams on their songs.

Forester does an amazing job of incorporating live instrumentation and vocals with smooth electronic elements. Their stage setup consisted of a keyboard, drum pad, microphone, and mixer. Multicolored overhead lights amplified their set, and their name and logo were shown behind them as well. According to Forester, this was their first live show ever. Original songs like “Symphony” got a great crowd reaction from both their fans and people hearing their music for the first time. After their set, audience members could be heard discussing how much they enjoyed Forester‘s set and how talented they were. This seems to only be the start for Forester.

Frank Walker

By the time that the first set was finished, the venue seemed to be completely full. The next DJ to take the stage was Frank Walker. This Canadian musician and DJ started producing in 2016 and has played multiple international shows and festivals. Some of his most popular tracks are “Like Gold” with Loud Luxury (feat. Stephen Puth) and “Can’t Let Go“. His Red Rocks set was his first show in the United States in a year and a half due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For his set, Frank Walker used a small table with CDJ’s set up on the front of the stage. He also had an LED wall behind him, which was part of Kygo‘s full set up. Overhead lights shined multiple colors out into the audience and flashed along to his music to add to his set. Frank Walker really increased the energy in the venue with his high-energy set. He incorporated both original tracks and remixes of popular songs that had been trending this past year. Examples include “Levitating” by Dua Lipa (feat. DaBaby) and “Deep End” by Fousheé.

Kygo’s Return To The Rocks

After a short changeover, the lights on stage turned off and the amphitheater echoed with everyone’s cheers. Then, the huge LED wall on stage flashed clips of Kygo‘s previous performances at Red Rocks. Lights shined into the audience, and Kygo made his way on stage. Kygo‘s stage setup consisted of a semi-circle deck that had his CDJs, microphone, and anything else needed for his set. While performing, he was standing on top of two levels of smaller LED screens, so it looked like he was in the middle of this massive display.

“What’s up Red Rocks? Let’s see your hands in the air,” shouted Kygo. For his first song, he brought out Valerie Broussard to sing “The Truth“. His stage production was massive! Fog machines, lasers, bursts of fire, and fireworks were all used throughout the show. Attendees in the first half of the crowd could literally feel the heat from these whenever a chorus dropped and the stage lit up.

Remember how every single attendee received a plastic bracelet when entering the venue? Each bracelet was able to light up and was synced with the show. This added yet another unique element to his performance because the audience members were able to connect with each other and with Kygo on a crazy cool level. When looking at the crowd, it would be a sea of blue or pink, and they even twinkled and changed colors with the drop. At the end of the show, attendees were asked to recycle the bracelets, but a lot of people kept them as momentos.

Golden Hour

Throughout Kygo‘s two-hour set, he played a glorious mix of older tracks along with tracks from his most recent album release, Golden Hour. According to Kygo, this was his first time playing these new songs to a live audience. In addition to bringing out Valerie Broussard, he had a few more singers join him on stage. Parson James sang “Stole The Show” and Justin Jesso sang “Firestone“. Each singer was able to perform multiple songs as well, so the audience got to see them each a few times.

Kygo did a wonderful job of incorporating his original, bubbly, feel-good music with upbeat, house music breaks. He kept the crowd on their toes throughout, as no one could really tell what was coming next. Sometimes, you would expect the original chorus from a song and it would transform into a high-energy drop with lights and lasers.

At two points in his set, he slowed it down for some breathtaking acoustic pieces. A clear piano was brought out to the center of the stage. As Kygo made his way down to the piano, an eight-piece orchestra of string instruments also set up on an elevated part of his stage. Valerie Broussard came out once more to sing “Lose Somebody“. During his encore, he brought out the piano and orchestra again along with Justin Jesso to do an acoustic version of “Firestone“. The song eventually transformed into the full, upbeat version of the track, and Kygo went back up to his elevated part on the stage to finish out his set.

Can We Go Back?

Overall, Kygo put on a truly amazing set. The energy in the venue was so elevated the entire time, from the openers to the very last second Kygo was on stage. Every single performer, including the openers, singers, and orchestra, was extremely talented and it was so much fun to watch. Kygo‘s set was a dynamic audiovisual experience and it was clear to see that the audience enjoyed themselves.

This summer, Kygo is set to perform at a festival in Poland in August, at Breakaway Ohio in September, and at the Banc Of California Stadium, also in September. To keep up with Kygo, visit his website and social media accounts below!

Photos by David Cohn

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Scotty Boy Brings the Sounds of Deep House Brunch back to LA

The long-awaited return to live events in LA are over. LA County lifted restrictions to the lowest yellow tier in May allowing for dance floors to return with larger capacity limits and indoor establishments able to reopen. Memorial Weekend delivered plenty of options for music lovers but nothing else screams a summer kick-off more than a pool party or boat party; which, Deep HouseBrunch(DHB) did both.

Deep House Brunch is a long-running house music event that combines the soulful mix of live sax, guitar, and drums(or even bongos featured this weekend) with the latest house music favorites mixed by Scotty Boy himself along with other special guests. Long before COVID-19 rocked all music events to a halt, Deep House Brunch was a staple event every month at Elevate Lounge DTLA. It all started when DJ Scotty Boy moved from Vegas to LA and had trouble finding a venue that wanted a house or deep house music, so he created one himself. Fast forward to today, Deep House Brunch became a nationwide sensation with the help of a residency on the cruise ship music festival, Groove Cruise. As of 2020, you can now find DHB in GCFAM hotspots such as Houston, Miami, Vegas, and Scottsdale.

On Saturday, promoter Orlove Entertainment kicked the weekend off with a sunset cruise in Long Beach. Their lineup included Christian Bradford, Lavelle Dupree, Freshcobar, Eva Kane, and the DHB founder, Scotty Boy. Tickets went fast and sold out quickly with the boat operating at 50% capacity so it only felt right to bring in another event, cue in the Sunday Funday with Deep House Brunch Pool Party.

deep house brunch

The Mondrian Hotel pool was filled with beautiful people in their newest swimwear, lots of smiles, and plenty of champagne bottle service. It was another sold-out event that left even ticket holders without entry due to strict capacity rules to adhere to the city’s effort to return to business safely. For those lucky enough to come early, the energy from the electric guitar riffs to bongos banging, you couldn’t help but shake your booty. All the new house bangers from Defected Records were loudly represented in the scenic overlook of the Hollywood hills. With a similar lineup as the boat party the day before, each DJ had a way to carry the crowd with their latest
house tracks.

It was clear this was the place to be on a Sunday afternoon with the capacity at its limit for the entirety of the 6-hour event. The crowd had a good mix of DHB die-hards, to first-timers from bachelorette parties or birthday celebrations. Regardless of what brought people in, the vibe was the same. Overall, it was an unforgettable night and a time to be happy dancing in the sun with others.

Photos By Sonju

Deep House Brunch returns to where it all started on July 11th at Elevate Lounge. All restrictions will be lifted in LA county on July 15th making the flood gates of events are opening. Get tickets for the latest deep house events HERE!

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