Bands: The King Khan & BBQ Show, Bloodshot Bill, Aykroyd
Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Venue: The Sinclair (Cambridge, MA)
First time at the Sinclair, place gives me the willies! What is this monstrosity before me? I almost feel like I’m at some quasi House of Blues. For a few moments, I forget where I am, I think I am in some other city, some foreign land. Then I see King Khan and Mark Sultan/BBQ at the merch table and all is well. I am in the right place, it’s April 10, 2013 and The King Khan & BBQ Show are back in Boston! Last time, we saw these two on stage was way back in October 2009 at the Middle East Downstairs. Great times! One of the finest shows we have ever witnessed. Since then, we’ve seen King and Mark separately several times as King Khan & The Shrines and Mark Sultan solo, respectively and those were all kick ass shows, but KKBBQ is superior. After saying some hellos, we make our way to the stage.
Aykroyd plays first and you may remember them as The Needy Visions, y’all know. The one from that Maine Coons song, “Fast and Easy Livin.” Maine Coons, you know, one of the greatest bands of all time. Quick, here’s their bandcamp page: http://themainecoons.bandcamp.com/album/s-t We’ll just act like this never happened. But, enough of those dogs, I mean cats, I mean that dude, ehhhh, Aykroyd/Needy Visions is the topic of discussion and they totally rule, looking like mighty beings on top of this massive stage in front of me. I look up and see lead vocalist/guitarist Dan Shea making bizarre faces and awkward, uncomfortable, high pitched shrieks that are oddly appealing. The whole band sounds top notch, like a blend of 90’s “college rock,” right cause everyone who plays music goes to college – err like Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh, and other bands of that era that didn’t hail from our great state of Massachusetts mixed with classic rock. It’s ginormous Sam Potrykus flails about and passionately rocks out on bass, whilst he boogies around in his funky, unusual dance style. With all of this eccentric behavior in mind, it brings me back to nearly three years ago when I first saw The Needy Visions opening for No Age. That was a sick performance, but I enjoy this one even more.
Sam and Dan are the masterminds behind Bodies of Water Shows, Boston Hassle, and the Boston Counter Cultural Compass. They represent the Boston underground better than anyone else and best of all they have a killer taste in music. Dan name drops the Compass, which is available at the merch table and the band expresses their gratitude for being on this bill tonight. Dan says, “We love King Khan & BBQ, A LOT.” So, do we, Dan! You guys rule and promote so much great music around here that I probably would have never heard of otherwise. In fact, any Boston garage/punk slime KKBBQ fans reading this, if you haven’t heard of Boston Hassle or B.O.W. check it out. I’ll bet you a PBR that you will dig at least one if not numerous fun loving rebel rousers making plenty of punk slime noise in your very own backyard. Here’s some links:
And then there was Bloodshot Bill… Bloodshot Bill has appeared on my list of people to see live for at least two years now. Much like King Khan and Sultan, who he has collaborated with in Tandoori Knights and The Ding Dongs, respectively, Bill is no bullshit, real, old school, greasy rock ‘n’ roll. No trendy, mindless fluff; it’s not a haircut band to paraphrase one, Ian St. Pe. Though he does slick his hair with his own brand of grease known as “Nice ‘n’ Greasy!” But, greasy hair aside, also like his Canadian comrades, he is an incendiary performer, and tonight is a blistering, steamy show.
Bloodshot Bill has the Mark Sultan set up: stomping the drums with his feet, clutching his guitar real, real close, and melting everyone’s brains with an incredible voice. It’s an obvious comparison, considering both men are collaborators, they play solo, and they play this raw, original style of rock ‘n’ roll. The original rock ‘n’ roll as it was meant to sound. But, the comparison should end there, because they are actually quite different. Bill channels Chuck Berry, Elvis, country, and rockabilly with a nasty, fiery punk edge. Dude sweats and spits unlike any other performer. He spits more than that lady in Heavy Cream!
What I love about Bloodshot Bill is his interaction with the audience. He can hold a crowd real tight and when he wants to let them loose, he can. When he tells them to shout “YEAHHHH!” They do it on command. It’s hard not to obey Bill, with his enigmatic, unique sounding voice. His range is unbelievable and he switches back and forth from high to low, low low. Sounds like an animal at times. How is a human making these noises? It’s not just Bill’s voice, however, that entices me. The musician sounds like a full band all by himself and he puts his entire body and soul into his performance. He shakes his hair violently and taps on his guitar, banging on the strings. You can tell he’s having fun, everyone’s having fun, that’s the idea. One woman even throws her black bra up on stage haha. Definitely one of the more distinct and skilled performers I have seen to date. Catch Bloodshot Bill live or on record. Check him out here: http://www.bloodshotbill.com/
The King Khan & BBQ Show is one of the original KLYAM beloved bands. King Khan and Mark Sultan/BBQ are legends, responsible for much of the music I have come to love over the years. As usual, the duo come out on stage, dressed up in some wacky, colorful attire. King Khan stands towards the front of the stage, on guitar and vocals, while Mark sings, plays guitar, and plays drums with his feet. Together, the two rip through three albums worth of rock ‘n’ roll classics, getting everyone in the Sinclair to dance and mosh in the process. KKBBQ represent the fun spirit of rock ‘n’ roll as a whole. Their mixture of punk and doo wop is unmatched. Some bands may be able to master these styles and combine them in an effective way, but this duo’s music ranks up there with the best of the best themselves. Sultan’s crooning is comparable to that of Sam Cooke, while King Khan’s deep, doo woppy voice harkens back to 50s groups like The Five Satins.
In between songs, there is constantly inner band banter in which the pair crack jokes, amusing themselves even more than the crowd itself. You can tell these two are good friends and there’s a sarcasm to them that is pure entertainment. The set tonight is not too different from the one we experienced three and half years ago, which isn’t a bad thing, because the band plays most of the songs a die hard KKBBQ fan would want to hear. Some of my favorites include fast, punk driven bohemoths, “Fish Fight” and “Zombies,” sing a long, doo wop anthems, “Waddlin’ Around” and “Invisible Girl,” or soft, gentle, love songs such as “Into the Snow,” which display Sultan’s vast, intimidating vocals. Then there’s the straight up funny songs like “Tastebuds.” I love screaming out the filthy nonsensical lyrics to this song (“Tastebuds on your cunt/So you can lick my booty from the front”), but I get an even better kick out of hearing most of the kids around me completely fucking up the words. They also play one of my favorite songs from Invisible Girl, “Truth Or Dare,” a great, heavy punk number with some of King Khan’s best vocals tonight. I don’t recall this one from the previous Boston show, so it’s a pleasure to finally hear it live.
The moshing is fun, definitely a sweaty, beer flying frenzy, but not nearly as chaotic as I expected. I never lose my sense of place or whatever. Per usual, King and Mark are exciting, lively performers, but I feel like King is more animated when he is performing with The Shrines. Mark, on the other hand, seems to be more fervent in this setting than when he plays solo. That’s just my reaction anyway. I’ve seen Mark Sultan only a few times and he’s just as passionate, but I feel like he is more entertaining when he interacts and plays beside King Khan. In some ways, they bring out the best in each other. At the end of the day, these two are legends and they bear their souls for rock ‘n’ roll. This show is a lot of fun, but not nearly as marvelous as that initial KKBBQ performance I experienced several years ago. Still, I’m always grateful to see one of my favorite bands live and I look forward to the next show.
Set List (in no particular order):
“Too Much In Love”
“I’ll Be Loving You”
“Into the Snow”
“Hold Me Tight:
“Treat Me Like A Dog”
“Dock It #8”
“Truth Or Dare”
“Shake Real Low”
“Why Don’t You Lie”
There may have been more…
KEWL CATS: This is the latest segment in KLYAM live reviews. A shout out to the new and old pals we encounter at shows. It was terrific seeing Eric and Kelly from the Atlantic Thrills, Ryan from Fagettes, Justin from Earthquake Party!, Dan from Aykroyd/Needy Visions, and of course Kiyal, the KLYAM guardian angel. Y’all rule.
This was the first song I ever heard by The King Khan & BBQ Show!