Clef Notes: Keys n Krates

One of the ideas behind starting this blog was to write about my musical experiences.  Talk about the events, the venues, the music. On January 27th I saw Keys N Krates at District N9ne in Philly.  A friend of mine had brought them up to me a few days prior; I recognized the name but wasn’t super familiar with their sound. On my way home from my friends house, I found them on Spotify and knew immediately that I would LOVE seeing them live.  Luckily for me, they were coming to town!

The venue, District N9ne, left A LOT to be desired. I had been there a few years back to see TJR and it was a good time. The location of the venue is in a pretty shady area of the city. An old warehouse (I think?) in a part of the city that you most certainly drive past some heavy drug deals while approaching.  The line to get in moved quickly enough, security at the door did thorough searches of bags, pockets and did pat downs.  Throwing out open packs of gum or cigarettes upon entry; that’s pretty standard when it comes to bigger shows.  As soon as we crossed the threshold of the door the smell of urine hit us in the face. The women’s restroom is in the front vestibule, so it’s possible that there are some plumbing issues… however ,this smelled more of a feline urine variety.  The friendliest of the staff was the woman at the front door, apologizing for taking the gum out of our bags, but insisting it was the rules.  The person accepting tickets/cover charges couldn’t be bothered.  In fact… most people that worked there seemed like every patron was annoying them.  I guess if I had to work in an unclean litter box I’d be irritable, too. Overall, it looks as if someone had begun to put a lot of time and effort into cleaning and fixing the place up and either ran out of money or interest. The dance floor is meant for shuffling… lots of open space, a decent light system and the sound system isn’t awful.  There’s a separate area for 21 and older where you can wait in line for 2 bartenders to ignore you for 10 minutes once you finally get to the front of the bar. The sound check area is surrounded by several tables where the 21+ crew can set their drinks down, dance around and still have a great view of the stage and show.

The crowd. It was a relatively young crowd; which is also pretty typical.  I believe this event was 18 to enter and 21 to drink.  The younger girls had the usual rave outfits… skimpy outfits in the middle of winter, freezing their asses off in the line to get in… Can’t say I haven’t done it before.  People were really messed up inside, more than I’m used to at an event… but I have noticed that the younger crowd does tend to be on the more wild side.

The artists.  Keys n Krates was awesome! The group is made up of 3 guys, one plays a drum kit, the other a keyboard and lastly a DJ. Their style of music is like electronic hip hop. Pretty funky with some heavy bass. They jammed out for about an hour… maybe more? What was fun is they weren’t just pushing play… the three of them were legit jamming out, waiting for cues from the front man on when to transition from one song into the next. I didn’t catch the name of the opening DJs… the first person was rough to listen to. The transitions weren’t blended at all, would switch from one genre to the next. Made it difficult to get into a groove.  The second opener was pretty decent… but their name escapes me.

Overall it was a good time, good music and a dance floor is all I need to enjoy myself… but I would imagine a lot of people would feel a little uncomfortable if they had never been exposed to this culture before. The venue definitely needs a facelift and a DEEP clean… or maybe the owners should invest in a new location entirely. I would 100% see Keys n Krates again, just hopefully not at D9.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: