photos by Dylan Johnson; words by Bill Pearis
King Khan & the Shrines @ Webster Hall, 10/30/2013
Arish Ahmad Khan seems to have the spirit of James Brown trapped inside his big frame. Decked out in a shiny suit and dancing like a maniac (when not playing guitar), Khan was pure showbiz at Webster Hall on Wednesday night (10/30), the NYC stop on King Khan & the Shrines' current tour supporting Idle No More, their first record in five years. There's nothing new about what they do, but Khan is a) a good songwriter who knows what garage soul should sound like and b) surrounds himself with crack musicians who are nearly -- if not sometimes more -- energetic as he is.
Given his wild man rep and that the show was happening on Devil's night, I was actually expecting more "shenanigans" but Khan and The Shrines let the music do the talking. (He did come out in his golden underwear, cape and headdress for the encore.) The folks at Webster Hall -- including at least 10 people dressed as "French KISS" -- were eating it up. To continue the JB analogy, I haven't seen a crowd so wanting to just touch a performer (or any member of the band), as they were to Khan on Wednesday in ages. I wish they'd played slow burner "There is Darkness" off the new album, but otherwise great show.
HellShovel opened the night (who I missed) and Jonathan Toubin kept things hoppin' between sets with a selection of rock n' roll Halloween novelty singles from the '50s and '60s. Our photographer was there for the whole night, however, and pictures from the show are in this post.
King Khan and the Shrines