Tuesday, April 13, 2010

King Khan and the Shrines in Salt Lake City

If you would have told me in high school that in ten years I would enjoy spending my weekends enraptured by a man who can wail like James Brown, wears sequins and a feathered crown, and talks candidly about climbing back into the birth canal...well, I wouldn't have believed you.  Sure there are some other hardly believable changes my high school self would roll her make-up free eyes at (like my penchant for cured meats and a weird phobia of blue underpants, to name a few), but King Khan would have sold my high school self on his act in the time it takes to get an "amen."

The show started early at the Urban Lounge at 1:00am, on the dot.  If there's one thing you can depend on at Urban, it's the early shows.  Have to work the next morning?  Well, don't you worry, Urban has a fine system set up where you can actually just leave the show and head directly to your place of employment after the performance commences!  It's brilliant, really.  My high school self would have been impressed with this scheduling magic.

The show had a ridiculously high energy, but while the Shrines sweated buckets and worked the crowd, King Khan seemed pretty laid back.  As Shug and BBF rehashed the show, they both came to the conclusion that Khan has such a striking voice and presence, he could forego the acrobatic antics and complicated rockstar moves.  And while Khan did indulge in a costume change for the encore (topless, with a lame' cape and charioteer's helmet), his charisma had the crowd dancing and stage-diving (!) from the first note.

Listening to King Khan and the Shrines really is like stepping back in time, their music is familiar and accessible while being wildly danceable.  And just like returning to the past, the benefit of perspective gives the experience a different spin.  The one thing about King Khan my high school self and my modern day self would agree on is the fact that he may be the reincarnated James Brown... Fo realz.

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