words and photos by Courtney Dudley
King Khan / Nicky Da B, House of Vans 7/26/2012
Just as doors opened at 25 Franklin, a dark, ominous cloud rolled over Greenpoint like a barge. Despite threats of tornadoes in the metropolitan area polluting social media outlets all day, a ton of people showed up for the third Vans House Party on July 26th featuring King Khan & The Shrines, Nicky Da B and The Everymen. It was shocking, really. Huddled under umbrellas or not (apparently having come to terms with the wetness), BK kids weren't gonna let a little lightning get in the way of their booty shaking-- or the free booze.
After one really epic downpour, the weather turned to a light sprinkle that, when compared to the heat, was actually quite refreshing. Inside, however, the combination of hundreds of damp people and relatively still air turned the place into a sauna-- the perfect setting for a dirty, ass shakin' dance party. No one even had to try for an excuse to take off their clothes. The Everymen opened, warming up the crowd with their energetic rock n roll. The seven piece outfit from New Jersey, reminiscent of the New Pornographers in structure, took command of the stage and the crowd was pretty into it considering that most of them were waiting for King Khan.
Nicky Da B took stage next and gave everyone what they were waiting for-- some serious ass shaking inspiration. I believe there is something comforting in having the desire to dance and going to a place where no matter how hard you try, one can never be the most risque or ridiculous person in the joint. What freedom! No one is looking... well maybe they are but they're looking in the direction of a shared, sweaty, collective experience where everyone goes home satisfied even if they don't get laid. But as the crowd got closer together, hair sticking to faces, glitter and neon flying about and SO MUCH ass in the air-- getting laid was more likely than not.
Finally, King Khan and the Shrines went on and energy sort of switched from sex to light hearted anarchy. You know, the kind of dancing where you accept the fact that you may get a black eye. What other kind of dancing is there, really? So many crowd surfers kept security occupied as King Khan screeched and wailed in front of a full backing band with horns and all manner of instruments. Strongly rooted funk but with a Bollywood flair thrown in, the man gives the late James Brown a serious run for his money. King Khan, with his feather headpiece, flamboyant dress and ironic, funny lyrics, doesn't take himself too seriously. The loose hilarity of it all creates a safe haven for humans to forget if you're a boy or a girl or you have to work in the morning and just GET DOWN.
King Khan plays NYC again, tonight (7/27) at Bowery Ballroom. Nicky Da B will be at Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday night. The next free show at House of Vans is August 2nd with Washed Out, Chairlift, and Lemonade.
More pictures from House of Vans last night are below
Nicky Da B
King Khan & The Shrines