Khruangbin jammed with a packed crowd at the Belly Up Tavern, creating grooves well in to the night.
The sold out Belly Up audience showed up early for good reason. Local legends The Mattson 2 started the night with their signature style of jazz and surf rock. Born in Encinitas, these twin brothers know how to put on a captivating show. A highlight was their interpretation of “Tibetan Dance“, written by the masterful Ryuichi Sakamoto. They turned it into a track that may have fit right into a classic surf film from the 1970’s.
Khruangbin has been touring nonstop in support of their new album. The previous album mixed the sounds of Thai funk and soul together, but for their new album Con Todo El Mundo, (released this February) incorporates different parts of the world music, including Middle Eastern and Latin melodies.
Opening the night with “Como Me Quieres,” guitarist Mark Spree stalked the stage with a swagger that fit his guitar playing. His emotive, warm, and bright guitar tone left room for the other members to complete their minimal but full sound. Laura Lee supplied the funky and hypnotic basslines, while Donald Johnson on drums provided the endlessly tasteful beats.
The crowd swayed, grooved, and smiled as Khruangbin played their originals, as well as a fascinating medley of hip-hop and soul classics which included songs like “It Was a Good Day” by Ice Cube and “Summer Madness” by Kool and The Gang. The peak of the night was when the disco ball lit up as the band jammed through one of their funkiest and upbeat songs, “People Everywhere (Still Alive).” It transported everyone into some modern Friday night Motown club where the night never ends and neither does the good time.