I went to see King Khan and the BBQ Show at Montana’s Party Place in Brooklyn last Friday. If you don’t know who they are, check them out. Their albums are great, but seeing them live is a completely different animal. I’ve been unable to get the show out of my head, for a number of reasons that I will get to. Overall, the show was fucking crazy. I’m not sure if I have ever been to a crazier show before. It was not what I expected at all from a two man band from Canada.
First off, the venue, Montana’s Party Place is a small transformed restaurant that looks like it should be hosting a middle school dance. The bands play on the ground by the entrance behind two large PA stacks.
After the two opening bands, the Vivian Girls and Golden Triangle (both of which rocked) King Khan and BBQ started setting up. They each had a tiny VOX amp sitting on a chair. BBQ, was setting up his unique drum/guitar/vocal set up. He plays a bass drum, tambourine and snare drum with his feet while he plays rhythm guitar and sings lead on most songs. King Khan is up front singing and shredding on guitar.
Before I get into what happened- let me quickly explain what the hell they play. They play rock music that is mixed with some soul/punk/rockabilly/r&b/and other styles I’m sure I can’t comprehend. For the most part, I would call them a garage rock band, but not one of those horrid throwback garage rock bands that leave a disgusting aftertaste in your mouth (i.e. strokes hives vines blah blah blah).
So they are setting up. Geez, I’ve written a damn novel already and they haven’t even played a song yet. King Khan is checking the levels. Then he takes his shirt off. He puts on a black sparkly shirt. Checks some more levels. Takes his pants off. He pulls down the black sparkly thing that is actually a dress. He plays guitar and sings along with the house music. Then he puts on his purple wig. He’s ready to go.
Behind him, BBQ is almost all set up, but he needs one more thing, his turban. Now they are ready. They start by playing a chuck berry riff instrumental to warm up. The sound quality is horrible, but it doesn’t really matter, they are tearing it apart. BBQ solos into the crowd on all sides as it crowds around him. The crowd is so crazy, one of the PA towers almost falls. There is some jerk trying to start a moshpit and he’s running into everyone, but it doesn’t really matter, because the music is kick ass.
Then- the music stops and things need to be fixed. I think the crowd broke something. In the silence, the asshole who was running into everyone starts screaming at the band. He’s only three or four people back. He says they are boring and the opening bands were better and they need to get a bass. Without hesitation, King Khan charges, guitar first, into the crowd and smashes the butt of his guitar into the kids face. The kid hits the ground, the guitar hits the ground, he runs outside and King Khan chases him.
So we wait for him to come back and he finally does. I hope he beat the shit out of the kid. Anyways, the rest of the show was great. Three or four times during the show, King Khan changed his lyrics to be about the asshole. He sang about smashing the kid’s face in with his guitar. He was obviously pissed about it, but the show went on.