Going Live: K-OS (CMW 2010)

© Jeff Parsons

Who: K-OS
Where: The Opera House, Toronto
When: March 11 2009

Music is art. Most musicians who parade around countries and borders understand this as the sound they create is their own personal work of art. Similar to abstract paintings and even graffiti, music is manifested through expression.

Some artists take personal experiences and transform them into their piece while others solely use the creation of their work as a way to escape from the world and its inhabitants. K-OS is a prime example of a true artist for his ability to draw from a variety of influences and create a sound that isn’t meant to appease critics, but to express himself.

On the second day of Canadian Music Week 2010, the Toronto rapper was welcomed by a congested crowd inside of The Opera House. The different scenes that stood side by side represented the type of effect K-OS’ music has on individuals as its not restrained to one genre. With a supporting band behind him, it was apparent listeners we’re going to witness a unique spectacle.

Known for his talent as a rapper who also croons, K-OS plowed through a dynamic setlist, touching favourites such as “Man I Used To Be” and “Crabbuckit”. The crowd, fueled by excitement, energized the performance even more, singing anthems like “Sunday Morning” in unison, producing a ringing echo that bounced off the walls.

The fact the crowd had involved themselves in the performance to a great extent only added to the performance. The rapper influenced smiles with his classic rock influence, playing bits and pieces of numbers from U2, Led Zeppelin and even Journey. He even produced whole-hearted laughs to fill the venue with a mini-freestyle that acknowledged his supporting cast of musicians and stabbed the United States Olympic ice hockey teams in the heart.

His ability to create a jubilant atmosphere is what makes K-OS a well-renowned musician across Canada. An individual unknown to his music could of walked into the showcase and instantly felt a sense of enjoyment. His way of expressing himself is unique as his art form. Is his work exclusively found in exquisite art galleries? No. But does his experiences influence others in a positive way?

Only the crowd from this night knows the answer.

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