Khruangbin just ooze cool. Not the popular kids lunch table that you’ll never sit at cool. The approachable, lets share a cigarette behind the lunchroom kinda cool. The Texas based psychedelic funk trio just released Texas Moon with Leon Bridges. They were at the Palace Theatre on Friday night for the second of 2 shows in St. Paul.
Supporting Khruangbin Saturday night was Nubya Garcia. This London based artist was jazzy, exotic and soulful, which got the crowd moving right out of the gate. She played cuts off her 2020 release Source with a trio of musicians. Together the band had a raw, funky vibe. This is definitely an artist to watch.
Khruangbin came on right around 9:15pm. Deep blue lights bounced off of two giant disco balls meshing with the deeply reverbed guitar notes that seemed to radiate to every corner of the Palace. Without a word the band launched into “Rules”, bass high in the mix and pounding the cheering audience right in the third eye. Bassist Laura Lee and guitarist Mark Seer created a sultry, intimate mood, reminiscent of a smokey cabana in the south Pacific. As multi colored spotlights swept the crowd, the glow highlighted people closed-eyed and swaying to the groove. The usually docile Midwest crowd was converted into something resembling a bliss filled hive of molly dosed bees. The band seemed as mesmerized by the music as the rest of the crowd, barely acknowledging the crowd, obviously there to drop a ton of awesome on St.Paul.
With a vibe one would imagine would to be background music in an opium den, other worldly song seamlessly wove into dreamy song. The chill outside was forgotten, and garments were dropped. Bodies moved and intertwined. The deftness with which Seer bends the stings, greasy and unctuous, underlie the spectral sound of the band as a whole. The band made magic with a medley of tunes that featured Bowie, Ice Cube ODB and Chris Isaac. Who else could pull that off? Drummer Donald Johnson was deep in the pocket, Parliament funky on the drums throughout the night.
Cool may be in short supply these days. Khruangbin was next level cool on Saturday night.