On a chilly autumn night, Khraungbin took the Cal Coast Open Air Theatre on a journey to outer space with their eclectic psychedelic funk grooves.


Kicking off the night was Kikagaku Moyo. This five piece psych rock band from Tokyo, Japan featured hypnotic kraut rock-inspired psych-jams with harmonizing guitars and an electric sitar in the mix. With their progressive song structures and changing time signatures, it was the perfect way to begin the night.

Next came Khruangbin and the feeling of being transported to a party in a galaxy far, far away. The stage set-up consisted of three spaceship-shaped platform risers, two large disco balls, colored twinkling lights, fog machines and colored spotlights. Laura Lee, Mark Speer and Donald “DJ” Johnson confidently boarded their “spaceships” and treated their audience to a uniquely diverse show. Powered by DJ’s metronomic drumming, Mark and Laura slinked their way around the stage, locking together in the pocket to showcase their distinct movements.

After playing ten originals, spanning songs from their first two releases as well as last year’s Mordechai, Khruangbin dove head first into a seven song medley which seamlessly ranged from AC/DC’s “Back in Black” to Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets”. In between these classics they performed a few MF DOOM instrumentals in tribute to the late rapper who passed away last year. Looking out into the audience revealed that not a soul was left standing still during this groovy grab bag of eclectic songs.


Mark expressed gratitude to the audience for joining the band “on this journey”. He also remarked about how surreal it felt to be on tour for the first time in two years.

The entire performance was a masterclass in cosmically cool synchronicity that teleported the audience to a night of dancing on the surface of the moon.

Catch Khruangbin again this Saturday in Mexico City at the Corona Capital 2021 Music Festival.

Photos by: Rachel Frank
Review by: Michael Broda