Keshi Brings His Talents To The “Westside” In A Last-Minute Performance At Head In The Clouds Thought+Photos: Keshi at 88 Rising's Head In The Clouds 8/20/22
LOS ANGELES, CA–
“…With three high-energy acts before him, I think that keshi’s performance gave the audience a much-needed change of pace. Casey Luong or keshi, is a Vietnamese songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist who is known for his signature falsetto and his lo-fi, indie-pop style. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, keshi originally was a nurse but found fame on SoundCloud, signing with Island Records in 2019. He’s had continued success since then, releasing his first studio-length album, Gabriel, in March and selling out his North-American leg of his “HELL/HEAVEN Tour.”
I have a soft spot in my heart for keshi. As a fellow Vietnamese-American, I am proud of him for taking a leap of faith to pursue his creative passions, and I appreciate the themes of family, isolation, and culture that he sprinkles throughout Gabriel. So when it was announced that he would join the lineup, I was ecstatic and could not wait to see what he would bring to Head In The Clouds.
Last year, keshi’s time at Head In The Clouds was tainted by microphone trouble and technical issues, so I, along with other festival-goers, could not hear many of his songs and truly experience the full depth of his performance. Luckily, this year’s performance had great acoustics and theatrics, with an LED screen, lights, and pyrotechnics.
I’ve seen him three times thus far, and what I’ve come to realize is that the amazing thing about keshi is his ability to perform the same songs so differently. What I mean by this is that even though he has similar set lists for each of his performances, he’ll change up or add new elements to each song he sings. For example, when he performed “WESTSIDE,” keshi extended the track by adding a guitar solo, or when he sang “ANGEL,” he variated the pitch of his voice, supplementing with extra flourishes and adjusting the melody. Keshi’s ability to modify his performances and continually interest listeners speak to his stage presence and raw musicality, which captivated the crowd, who was singing every lyric with him.
Speaking of the crowd– if you didn’t know keshi’s fanbase, you would be shocked to observe how participative the audience was. Like at many of his other shows, the audience made an effort to collectively chant for the singer to take his shirt off. However, keshi waved his finger, saying “no no” and asking, “You all just saw Jay Park, isn’t that sexy enough?”
I also want to give props to keshi for stepping in for NIKI last minute. He just finished the North-American leg of his tour and is preparing for the Asia and Australia leg, so I’m sure that he is fatigued. Nevertheless, he flew to Los Angeles and gave a stellar performance. It would have been great to see NIKI perform her new album, Nicole, for the first time, but watching keshi is always a treat…”