Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The King Khan and BBQ Show! At Spaceland, 11.15.07


As it turns out, the King Khan and BBQ Show is indeed a show in the finest sense of the word, or at least, the finest that a pair of costumed garage rockers can offer while crooning and downing White Russians in succession. The pair don't tour much, given King Khan's residency in Germany and the side projects that take up the time of both (in addition to a re-release of the King Khan and BBQ Show's eponymous album on In the Red this year, Mark Sultan released The Sultanic Verses and King Khan released the damn fine What Is?! with his Shrines). So it was a pleasure to see them, not to mention a joy to be among their frighteningly loyal cult followers at humble ol' Spaceland.

King Khan's glittery little dress somewhat clashed with the blue and silver curtains of Spaceland's backdrop like a costume at a junior high school dance. But it highlighted his crotch well, not to mention the ass he shook proudly (and would eventually bare, plumber-style, after getting his briefs torn by overzealous fans up front). Meanwhile, Sultan played his role as guitarist/drummer much in the style of Lawyer Dave, albeit with a getup that clashed equally with Spaceland's shiny curtains and Khan's shiny dress.

The interesting thing about the difference between the band's recordings and (this particular) performance was the chance to watch them sing; on record, where the band is heavy on the doo-wop and actually sings, one at a time, over paired-up, distorted guitars, it would seem that one man sings lead and the other harmonizes as back-up. Live, King Khan and BBQ revealed that they take turns singing lead, that their voices are thus quite similar, and that – at least on “Too Much in Love,” where King Khan attempted both lead and a shortened version of his back-up “bow bow bow” - they don't sing together that often and actually remain in very separate spaces when they play and sing. Their personalities were very separate as well, with Sultan serious and content in an invisible box that sort of protected him from being affected by anyone in the room, while King Khan was all too eager to lean into the crowd and play rock star, to share his guitar and himself, and dance for us.

Needless to say, this band's a fucking blast and a half.

The King Khan and BBQ Show - Shake Real Low
Purchase The King Khan and BBQ Show

Also of note: Opener Pleaseeasaur, a multi-media show like no talent show act you've ever seen.

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