By: Shelby Monita (@shelbymonita) –
The weekend preceding Halloween, King Khan and the Shrines helped Toronto get into the festive spirit with his funk-jungle-rock performance at The Horseshoe that left everyone happy and bouncy.
The night began with the band, Wish, a collection of four members who decided on that name because of its infinite number of search results. From the flannel shirt worn over the Saved by the Bell t-shirt and red Dr. Martins to the guitars relying on feedback and pedals, this band was riding the wave of the early ‘90s trend that is coming back into fruition. Jesus and Mary Chain inspired with a kick of Dinosaur Jr. and add in some Sonic Youth for the female vocalists and you have, Wish. The vocals were, for the most part too low to hear, even still it was an energetic and engaging performance.
The second act of the night, Hell Shovel, brought their pagan acid rock flavour to dust into the audience and help keep the Halloween enthusiasm kicking. Most of the songs included smooth vocals and raunchy guitars followed that, which made it safe to say that these guys have nailed a sound that is completely early Rolling Stones mixed with Black Sabbath. All four members sported long hair and pattern clothes, overall the entire scene seemed right out of London, England in the early ‘70s. The whole audience zoned out, put into a trance; the only thing that would make the set perfect was if there was an elder sitar player rocking out in the corner on a Persian rug.
When Berlin via Montreal’s King Khan came out the crowd roared as everyone was eager for a great show. It didn’t matter if they dressed as a cow, or a Viking, or just decked out in street clothes; everyone was equally psyched to see what the 36-year-old and his seven-piece band was going to deliver. In matching dress shirts and bone necklaces, the band tore up the stage, each of them dancing like maniacs, giving full energy and love. The set included favourites like “Pick it Up”, “Took My Lady to Dinner”, “Hold Me Tight”, and “Welfare Bread”, all of which proved that King Khan was born to be a singer.
Moreover, Khan also took a moment to dedicate “So Wild” in memory of Fast Eddie, drummer of Cold Defects and many other influential punk bands, who passed away earlier this month. With minimal conversation between songs, the eight-piece powered through, shaking and rolling, keeping fans moving, crowd surfing and stomping their feet to the beat. Khan performed the encore that included “Don’t Regret a Thing” and “Live Fast Die Strong” in hot pants with abedazzeled crotch piece, a gold cape and Afro wig. Once they played the last song, the band went nuts, saxophone player was in the audience, the keyboardist picked up his board and held it over the audience like it was a guitar and for a good five minutes brassy noise filled the Horseshoe Tavern. Looking around the room, everyone looked satisfied, happy and they were ready to keep going all night.