Khruangbin (pronounced Krung-bin and the Thai word for “airplane”) is a trio from Houston Texas comprised of Mark Speer on guitar, Laura Lee on bass and Donald “DJ” Johnson on drums.
To even attempt to put the genre of music into a box would simply be a disservice to the musicianship heard on their albums and seen on stage. A little bit of psychedelic rock, a little bit of funk, a little bit of surf and a whole lot of cool.
Their sound pulls from not just multiple genres but multiple locations across the world. Everywhere from heavy inspiration from music anywhere from the middle east to West African, to Indian to Mexican and more. While a predominantly instrumental band, we do get moments of vocals but it is always done as an extension of the instrumentation. Never too much. Never too little. They have collaborated with the likes of Leon Bridges, with whom they released a collaborative EP, Texas Sun with last year, as well as a feature on the song “Pretty Boys” by none other than Paul McCartney.
Their Oklahoma City stop was one of the tour’s last few shows of the year. On a tour that featured over 10 different openers depending on the city, OKC was treated with a set from Brooklyn – Based artist Nick Hakim.
Similar to headliners Khruangbin, Hakim’s sound is a blend of sounds as well. His sound is somewhat of a lo-fi, echo-y blend of folk, r&b and soul.
Met with dim lighting, and plenty of stage noise, Nick Hakim was able to make any seat in the filled theater feel like the most up close and intimate of shows.
With Hakim being the only opener, Khruangbin was up next.
With a stage set up that can only be described as 3 platforms resembling UFOs met with a giant disco ball on both sides of the stage, it was somehow an almost perfect visual representation of the band’s sound.
The trio opened up with the song “Como Me Quieres”, which translates to “How Do You Love Me?” In English. A song that perfectly encapsulates the band’s sound to a first time listener. Delicate, not too flashy, not too many notes, but a sound that fills the room with atmosphere and feels both equal parts unique and familiar all at the same time. If you didn’t understand Khruangbin before the show, you sure do now.
The band played about an hour of fan favorites such as Pelota, Mr. White , and their famous rendition of Kool and The Gang’s ‘Summer Madness.’
Fans were treated with an encore containing 20 more minutes of groove, solos, and plenty of disco ball usage as the band closed out the show with upbeat favorite, People Everywhere.
Whether you are a hardcore fan, casual listener, or simply a lover of music, Khruangbin provides a live show you almost certainly will not forget.