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  • Whitman Dewey-Smith

When I was a senior in high school, Hyphy was all the rage. We had a Hyphy-themed school dance, just to give you a sense of our enthusiasm for the genre. When my three-years-younger brother was a senior, Gucci Mane was his class's musical champion. If I had to guess, given the composition of the crowd at Keyboard Kid's characteristically solid set last night, the kids these days are all about Based.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel out of place. Being five inches taller and at least five years older than everyone else was an experience I've never had at a show before. Enthusiastic teens with buzz cuts grossly made out with their sweethearts. Gossip emanated all around me. Even the joints being passed around somehow smelled like they were rolled by the clumsy fingers of a 15-year-old.

I, at age 24, am officially a grumpy old man. But it was at the Vera Stage, after all. And it wasn't all bad—a group of ambiguously aged dudes at the very front held it down, jumping in sync the entire time and repeatedly starting up the requisite chants of "SWAG. SWAG. SWAG." One among them was wearing a black and red Seattle-PI jacket, with globe, eagle and "It's in the PI" emblazoned across the back, which may be the coolest article of clothing I've ever seen.

And Keyboard Kid rocked. He's a natural live performer, and the white dude he always performs with (who is that guy?) rocked too. The beats banged, the synths swirled, and much all-ages fun was had.