King Khan and the Shrines - Crescent Ballroom - 11/13/13
King Khan and the Shrines
All photos by Amy Young
Did you feel the ground around downtown (Phoenix) move last night? Those good vibrations oozing from the cracks of Crescent Ballroom were created by a whole lot of fans who couldn't help but move to the garage-rockin', soulful, funky, psychedelic sounds of none other than King Khan and the Shrines, who stopped in Phoenix on the final night of their recent tour.
King Khan, also known as Arish Ahmad Khan, started making music back in the '90s in Montreal. He's been in bands like rowdy garage punkers The Spaceshits, along with Mark Sultan (a.k.a. BBQ) who later joined Khan to form The King Khan and BBQ Show, a punk doo-wop duo. With the Shrines, Khan brings his love of fusing styles, cranking up the dial into righteous levels.
Last night the band took the stage with Khan clad in a suit that surely had the potential to be tagged as highly flammable while the rest of the band -- which is a glorious mishmash of guitars, drums, horns, keyboard and tambourine -- rocked some shiny ensembles.
And capes. With King Khan and the Shrines, there are always capes; it's just part of the magic. The real thrill though came when the music started. Khan's voice sounded like it was a little extra gravelly -- you know, like a person who has been delivering a lot of serious vocal goods on a rock 'n' roll tour. Not like he let it get him down; he and the band offered up some groovin' tunes and the night continued to heat up, song after song.
The band played an ample amount of songs from their 2008 release The Supreme Genius of King Khan and the Shrines, starting early with "Land of the Freak," heating things up on the dance floor, and some others, including "Took My Lady to Dinner," "Welfare Bread," and "Stone Soup," which brought some serious funk to the party. Though Khan is the frontman and a fantastic focal point, at that, the rest of the band is pretty fucking lively and demands attention.
From synchronized dance moves by all to the high jinks of the keyboardist/tambourine shaker, it all aided in getting the crowd real sweaty. Plenty of stage diving was going on and a lot of pop ups on stage by those who wanted to show off their retro dance party moves. With serious ass shakers like "I Wanna Be a Girl," also from that '08 release, you can't blame 'em.
It wasn't all "oldies" last night; the band has a new release out called Idle No More, and they played tracks from that, too, like "Thorn in Her Pride," and "Bite My Tongue," which are equally as dynamic as anything on Supreme Genius that helped earned them a bevy of beloved fans.
The band ended the set with another new one, "Luckiest Man," before coming back to give some more to the crowd that didn't show any signs of wanting to leave. For this round, a shirtless Khan sported a bouffant-y wig and gold cape while the band played several encores, including "No Regrets" -- a good sentiment to close such a juicy show.
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