Bands: The King Khan & BBQ Show, The Dum Dum Girls
Venue: Iron Horse, Northampton, Massachusetts
Date: October 28, 2009
The Trip: We left for the 118.83 mile trek at 6:45. Traffic was so bad that we didn’t do any real moving until 7:30. At that point it was smooth sailing on the Mass Pike and we got to the Iron Horse around 8:55.
The King: Right as we walked in to the club, I noticed Mark Sultan chatting with some girl (the tour manager, I found out later). I told Paul this and he said “go up to him.” I was about to, but then he said “isn’t this King Khan right here (two feet in front of us)?” I couldn’t believe it, probably because King was so pedestrian looking with his jean jacket and hat. So I just said hey to King and then told Mark that I was the one who IM’ed him yesterday. After that, I told King that I love the new album and also a recent interview that I saw on YouTube. He couldn’t recall it, even though I told him that he mentioned some influences as “hygiene and dentistry…and you recorded an album inside of a tree trunk.” He asked Mark and even Mark couldn’t recall it. But then King asked “the one about the bearded mushroom?” Yes, King, that’s the one. I also inquired about the Almighty Defenders. He said they are going to be doing a tour in Europe. This tour, in particular, he said was 40 days long. After that he was going to go back home in Germany to reunite with his wife and two daughters. He’s on tour six months of the year (“it pays the bills.”)
The Dum Dum Girls: They are smarter than they look! Okay, I stole that one from King. They really rocked out with their psychedelic Jefferson Airplane-esque sound. They build their vocal repertoire off of this old sound and it flat out works. Some guy yelled out “you’re better than the Monkees.” “Thanks?” responded the drummer. Another lad yelled “nice cymbals,” sarcastically remarking about the absence of that particular instrument from the kit before shouting something about the floor toms. My favorite part of their set was when they jammed the first few chords of “Don’t Talk To Me.” “Just button your lips…DON’T TALK TO ME.” The utterly amazing girly harmonies make me love their version better than G.G’s or No Age’s or whoever’s. And what would be a concert review without my remarking on the appearances of these ladies? The bass player is probably the hands-down sexiest and prettiest female I’ve seen on a stage.
The King Khan & BBQ Show: Ah yes, these guys. They did their set-up in their regular clothes (Mark Sultan had on his flat cap, per usual) before hiding behind a gold giant rectangular rug thingy. They came out a short time later; Mark had on his classic Turban and tight spandex: “It’s too fucking early to be wearing spandex…are you guys ready to dance?” King had on an exotic uniform and of course the teeth necklace. They played a six minute warm-up that was wholly instrumental. After that they burst into “Fish Fight,” but they had to stop for a few seconds because their guitars weren’t tuned properly. They came back and “Suzie’s in the corner” was sung. The crowd, made up mostly of college age hipsters, was going pretty ecstatic, but not wildly so. After that came the Halloween dance-esque “Hold Me Tight” which saw even more dancing. At this point one guy was going fucking nuts in the front row besides me. He didn’t give a shit about anyone, he was just in his own world. Something wasn’t right though after this song. The audience couldn’t tell. In fact one girl kept blurting out “I still love you.” Mark seemed pretty pissed. His guitar was messed up apparently. He switched with King Khan, but that guitar wasn’t even suitable. While Mark was fixing his six string, King sang a country song that I couldn’t recognize. Mark explained that his guitar was messed up and one middle-age folk besides me commented, “It’s a comedy from where I’m standing.” Mark slyly responded, “Well that’s not good because it’s a fucking tragedy up here.” After that, Mark sung a clap-a-long, snap-a-long A Capella ballad. These technical difficulties/re-tunings lasted about 20 minutes. After an interlude in which the duo went behind the “curtain,” they unveiled a humongous specialized Invisible Girl curtain. After that they played, of course, “Invisible Girl,” which turned out to be pretty damn awesome live, despite King’s slight fucking up of the little instrumental part. He smiled it off, though. :). They played another one off the new LP called “Lonely Boy,” which is straight up garage. I’m pretty sure they played another new one (or maybe a cover) about running out of time, but I couldn’t conjure up the name of it. In terms of oldies, “Treat Me Like A Dog” was amazing. This is when the pussy moshing started. I call it that because the crowd was so hammered/ on something that there wasn’t much contact. People were just spinning around and tapping people on the shoulder. The dancing was top notch, though. They played “I’ll Never Belong” which has the classic slow introduction before speeding up, before Mark’s powerful vocals enter. Then…”I DON’T GIVE A FUCK” which created more “moshing,” involving a bit more contact this time around. “Zombies” was a great sing-along, most especially during the “If I told you…” verse. Great stuff. “Dock It #8” was also played. I couldn’t think of its name at the time but obviously it is a classic looking back. “Blow My Top” was genius as well with King’s “bow-bow-bow” hollering behind Mark. Mark said “we are going to slow it down a bit.” That same girl shouted “I love slow. I still love you.” Mark remarked “you’ve said that five times already” before asking “where is this bearded girl? You know what I think of when I hear ‘bearded girl’? The police.” And just like that “Into the Snow” was performed. Lots of swaying on the crowd’s part. Not for long though because…”Waddlin’ Around” was next! Oh man…Words can’t describe this song. “Bayyyyy-aaaaaayyyy-bayyy won’t you be my girl!” “Love You So” was just perfect as well. “Now listen darling…I don’t want to go…beautiful baby please don’t let me go.” The next one that really really really really got the crowd in a frenzy was “Pig Pig” that had everyone shouting “PIG PIG YOU’RE SUCH A PIG.” “Outta My Mind,” one of my favorites followed and was freaking unbelievable. Before the last song, KK+BBQ thanked the crowd for coming out. You must be wondering “what was the last song?!” “Shake Real Low,” of course. “We’re going to have some fun,” hollered Sultan. The chorus then was sung. Then the second verse was sung. A short little guitar solo led to the end of the song. Silence followed. “I want to thank you all again for coming out and sorry about the technic- YOU GOTTA SHAKE REAL LOW AND PUT YOUR ASS TO THE FLO’.” That was easily one of the best concert moments I’ve experienced, if not the best. You should have seen the crowd’s reaction. They slowly exited the stage after this. One funny guy in the back screamed “What’s For Dinner?” and Sultan, dismantling his drum set, hollered back “five cocks and a pussy.” While Sultan made his way behind the curtain the same dude yelled out, “You’re not fucking leaving that stage until ‘What’s For Dinner?’.” Too bad for that dude because they came back on center stage for the famous doo-wop number “Why Don’t You Lie?” before finally going back behind the curtain.
Set [No Order]: 1. Fish Fight, 2. Hold Me Tight, 3. King Khan’s country song, 4. Mark’s A Capella, 5. Invisible Girl, 6. Lonely Boy, 7. New One/Cover, 8. Treat Me Like A Dog, 9. I’ll Never Belong, 10. Zombies, 11. Dock It #8, 12. Blow My Top, 13. Into the Snow, 14. Waddlin’ Around, 15. Love You So, 16. Pig Pig, 17. Shake Real Low, 18. Why Don’t You Lie?
Final Thoughts: Here is the deal: I liked the venue, but the crowd was weird. I’m not saying the Boston crowd tonight will be any better, but I have a feeling it will be more crowded and the pit will be more energetic. Like I said before, the dancing was top-notch because people didn’t give a fuck, but it was spread out. People weren’t on top of each other as symptomatic of all the best concerts like Black Lips and KK + The Shrines. That said, listening to the brilliance of these two folk, KK + BBQ, was a fascinating 1 hour and 15 minute journey. I guess I didn’t appreciate it as much of I should have, even though I did really appreciate it. The experience wasn’t all there, but definitely knowing most of these songs was a great plus.
Grade: A- –