King Khan and The Shrines Bring the Party to Bumbershoot
In the center of a swirling festival of a quarter million people, seemingly nearly as many acts and SO MUCH NEON, King Khan and the Shrines still managed to be the life of the party.
King Khan and the Shrines don’t need $50,000 worth of lighting equipment or fog machines or giant screens projecting acid trip images behind them (ahem, Skrillex) to whip a crowd in a frenzy. Nor, would I argue, do they need the matching outfits or the giant headdress that Khan donned during both sets I caught on Saturday. They just need the songs and the boundless energy they perform them with.
Khan and The Shrines specialize in dirty garage soul, a style gaining popularity with the likes of Pickwick leading the charge locally, but no one I’ve seen quite pulls it off with the gusto of this group. Just watching them perform, you work up a sweat … as the keyboard player jumps up and down, dances and balances the keyboard on top of his head, as the bassist climbs over benches in the auditorium they are playing in, as King Khan shimmies, shakes and screams. It is spastic and wild-eyed soul. These are songs you want to get dirty to. To grind to, to fuck to, to drink WAY too much to. They are songs of gluttony and over-indulgences and the consequences that come from that. The songs themselves are the party, one you feel the after effects for days, and the hangover is totally worth it.