French Kiwi Juice or “FKJ” sent us to a lavender-tinted lofi-hip hop alternate reality with his mesmerizing multi-instrumental show.
Upon hearing FKJ would be playing ACL I was very interested to see how he would perform his complex electronic, saxophone, and piano filled music in a live setting. I then found out that live is actually the best way to experience his music.
The stage set-up was quite impressive, an extremely complex multi-keyboard synthesizer, a live dj board, and not to mention his many other instruments littered across the stage, backed by a screen displaying trippy psychedelic graphics and the bass that shook the crowd’s feet.
As the show started, fog poured across the stage, obscuring FKJ in a mysterious purple cloud as he ran from instrument to instrument, live playing each piece of his own work for the crowd to see.
And yes, the saxophone in “Tadow” is real, and was played directly in front of me. Every time he picked up his saxophone to either play the famous tune or just noodle on it, the crowd would cheer at his ridiculous level of musical talent.
The set traveled from funky pieces like “Vibin' Out” to softer emotional pieces, each one with a different graphic story on the screen behind, vibrating with the music. As “Ylang Ylang” played, people had their hands up, playing with the air above them as FKJ quickly dashed from his piano (which he looped the tunes on) to his audio equipment, giving the song an extra bass boost.
I remember the crowd didn’t jump or dance during the set, but swayed, moved by the constant lyrical rhythm of the show without a single word said by him until the end. A bow and a quiet thank you whispered into the mic as he disappeared behind the same fog from which he came.