If KONGOS had not officially "made it" before Wednesday night, they certainly have now. The South African-born, Phoenix-based rock quartet made their national television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and while their single "Come With Me Now" did not sound quite as buff as it does on Lunatic, their latest record, they still looked and sounded great on late night TV.
The band has already experienced the highest highs the South African music industry has to offer, not to mention the joys of being one of the Valley's more renowned acts, and Jimmy Kimmel Live! is just their first taste of the United States national spotlight.
"National TV in America is a huge deal and it felt great. We're fans of Jimmy Kimmel so we were excited to play his show," says drummer Jesse Kongos.
Meanwhile, his brother Dylan is apparently still trying to wrap his head around the experience.
"Playing Jimmy Kimmel still feels surreal to us," he says. "It's great that we made our U.S. TV debut on his show."
The brother Kongos were not the only people excited about the big appearance either. Their Facebook feed was abuzz with congratulations and praise for their appearance, and Matty Steinkamp of Sundawg Media even suggested a viewing party to celebrate the occasion.
As expected, KONGOS played their current hit "Come With Me Now" during Wednesday night's episode, which also included appearances by comedian Ricky Gervais and reality show housewife Nene Leakes, and all four of the brothers looked as comfortable on national television as they have been playing to crowds in Phoenix. (They also performed "I Want to Know" from Lunatic, which didn't make the show.)
Dylan remained barefoot, Johnny lighted things up with some fancy accordion playing, and Daniel looked laid back. While Jesse seemed to missing some of the oomph from his bass drum, he still looked natural while performing.
While the men of the hour are Kongos brothers, it still seems like a win for the Phoenix music scene as a whole. KONGOS may not be the first local band to hit the big time, but seeing one more homegrown musical act step into the national spotlight certainly legitimizes a scene that is so often accused of not existing.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.