Photo by @BRANNDANNART via Khruangbin’s Twitter
Khruangbin returned to Radio City Music Hall for the first time since opening Leon Bridges in 2018 on his Good Thing Tour. This time, however, the name on the marquee was at first hard to pronounce now impossible to forget, Khruangbin. The trio’s two-night tour from Houston to Texas sold out on both nights and featured beloved songs from their discography, old and new, along with an impressive array of covers.
On Wednesday, March 9, the members of Khruangbin gracefully ascended the stairs to three circular raised platforms on the Radio City Music Hall stage in front of 6,000 fans. They opened with “First Class” from their 2020 album. Mordecai and quickly moved on to a few number-themed songs, including “August Twelve”, “The Number 3”, and “August 10”. Next is “So We Won’t Forget,” which features bassist Laura Lee Ochoa’s delicate celestial band vocals. They then moved on to “Lady and Man” from their 2018 album With Todo el Mundo, reminding fans how lucky they are that the members of Khruangbin didn’t become doctors or lawyers. Next is the equally fun song and sister off With Todo el Mundo, “Evan finds the third piece.” They then played the title track from their 2014 debut EP, “The Infamous Bill”, which was followed by 2020’s “Pelota”, which is sung entirely in Spanish.
If there’s one word besides “Khruangbin-ish” that could describe their sound throughout the night, it would be “tight.” Unified by the hard-hitting backbone of Donald “DJ” Johnson, they exuded a sense that they could take on anything, and on their current tour, Khruangbin proved it.
After “Pelota”, the band broke into what is credited on the setlist as “Melody”. The first “melody” was taken from David Bowie’s iconic song “Let’s Dance”. As soon as the whole room recognized the unmistakable song, the band, without missing a beat, transformed into a riff of Dave Matthews’ cover of Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” which MF Doom sampled and made famous on its “Coffin Nails” songs. and “Rap Snitch Knishes”. They stayed with their sonic tribute to the late rapper, producer and pioneer with another classic, “Gazzilion Ear”, followed by “Deep Fried Frenz” off Mm..The food. Next in line was Brick’s must-have 1976 funk “Dazz.”
They continued their theme of timeless songs with iconic basslines, tense beats and anarchic energy as they moved from Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” to The Isley Brothers’ “Footsteps in the Dark” (which Ice Cube sampled on “It Was a Good Day”), in Warren G and Nate Dog’s “Regulate. The 1992 West Coast Anthem”Nuthin’ but a “G” Thang” followed. Then, at the speed of the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, they returned to the East Coast with a series of New York must-haves, including “Got Your Money” by Ol’ Dirty Bastard, “Electric Relaxation” by A Tribe Called Quest and “The Notorious BIG” Making Money.” They ended their musical exploration with the song for the first-ever slow dance of them all, Spandau Ballet’s “True” and a soothing cover of James Vincent McMorrow’s “Wicked Game.” They closed their set with “Summer Madness” and instrumental “Maria También”.
After a brief break, they returned to the stage one by one. Johnson walked up the stairs to her poncho-adorned kit; guitarist Mark Speer sneaked up the stairs all in black and white boots, and Ochoa returned in a new electric yellow dress and heels to match her bass. For their encore, they played “Number 4,” then fan-favorite “White Gloves.” They continued with “Time (You and I) and The Universe Smiles Upon You’s”People everywhere (still alive). For the cover finale and penultimate song of the night, they covered “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)” by the timeless Crystal Waters, which brought back into “People Everywhere (Still Alive)”.
Saturday’s show saw many of the same songs with a few extras. During their intro songs, they opened with “Rules” instead of Con Todo el Mundo’s “First Class” and replaced “The Number Three” with “Dern Kala” off The universe is smiling at you. “The Infamous Bill” also found its way a bit earlier. Finally, their encore featured “Dancer” by SNAP! instead of Crystal clear waters’ “Gypsy woman (she is homeless).”
Khruangbin will perform tonight at The Anthem in Washington, DC Find tickets here.
Radio City Music Hall – New York, NY
March 9, 2022
Adjust: First Class, August Twelve, The Number 3, August 10, So We Won’t Forget, Lady and Man, Evan Finds the Third Room, The Infamous Bill, Pelote, Let’s Dance / Coffin Nails / Gazzilion Ear / Deep Fried Frenz / Dazz / Bennie and the Jets / It was a good day / Regulate / Nothing but a “G” Thang / You got your money / Electric relaxation / Make money / True / Wicked game, Summer Madness, Maria Tambien
Enc. : Number 4, white gloves, time (you and me), people everywhere (still alive), a gypsy (she’s homeless), people everywhere (still alive)
Radio City Music Hall – New York, NY
March 10, 2022
Adjust: Rules, August 12, Dern Kala, August 10, The Infamous Bill, So We Won’t Forget, Lady and Man, Evan Finds the Third Room, Pelota, Let’s Dance / Rapp Snitch Knishes / Gazzillion Ear / Deep Fried Frenz / Dazz / Bennie and the Jets / It was a good day / Regulate / Nuthin’ but a “G” Thang / Got Your Money / Electric Relaxation / Get Money / True / Wicked Game, Summer Madness, Maria También
Enc. : First class, white gloves, weather (you and me), people everywhere (still alive), Dancer, People everywhere (still alive)