As if the 2,200 person capacity Marquee Theatre wasn't an intimate enough venue for the Phoenix homecoming of the now-platinum four-piece .KONGOS, the four brothers decided to throw their own little welcome home surprise party at Scottsdale's Rogue in the early afternoon before their Summer Ends Music Festival set.
At the Marquee later that night KONGOS were greeted by the crowd like heroes, charging the stage to thunderous applause within the confines of Luckyman's little concrete room. But at The Rogue they were greeted more like family, exchanging handshakes, hugs, and conversations with almost everyone in attendance.
The whole crowd was obviously excited to see the hometown heroes play. Some in attendance including Travis Ryder and Martin Sugg of Japhy's Descent had even shared the stage with them as recently as last October. But based on the vibes in the bar around noon, I think many would have been just as happy to have KONGOS not play and have used the time to socialize and share a beer with some friends in from out of town.
Part of the the whole family vibe in the bar was probably due to the fact that KONGOS' parents were in attendance. But the rest comes from the fact that Phoenix, which is so often accused of not having a "scene," really has many tight knit musical communities that do their best to support their own.
The set was almost all acoustic except for Jessie's fender, and Dylan and Dan set down the bass and drums respectively and traded them for acoustic guitars, while Johnny brought the signature KONGOS sound with his accordion. Dan said the band had done a few acoustic sets throughout the tour and they had taken to calling them "candle lit, bathtub acoustic sets."
The set was short and sweet and included an acoustic rendition of their mega-hit "Come With Me Now," a cover of The Beatles "Eleanor Rigby," as well as "I Want to Know," and "It's a good life" off of Lunatic. As well as a song or two which the fellas said we strictly for the acoustic gigs.
Following the set, KWSS DJ Beef Vegan ran a short Q-and-A where they addressed some of the questions they are frequently asked on the road. First and foremost, they are saying "whoa" in the song "Come with me now" before the chorus.
The band talked about some rumors that they are in someway satanic. Jessie jokingly said " we don't squash any rumors. We get Illuminati, Christian, satanic, we will be whatever you want." Before getting into the real questions that everyone had on their minds. Which song would be the next single now that "Only Joking is platinum. The answer, "I want to know."
But the other burning question for all the Phoenix hipsters who had been repping KONGOS long before major labels were even aware of them was, when can we get some new music? Everyone loves Lunatic, but we've all been bumping the same joint since 2011. The band happily gave their eager public a tentative date for a new single as "the middle of next year."
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