SHOW REVIEW: Khruangbin @ The Wiltern

Photo Credit: Mason Robinson

For being a band whose music relies mainly on ridiculously groovy instrumentals, it was incredible to see how much the crowd vibed with the band despite having no lyrics to sing along with. Perhaps it was Laura Lee’s (the bassist) subtle yet confident hip movement that demanded the attention of the audience or DJ’s (the drummer) nearly motionless and tight drumming that kept their fans mesmerized. I’m not kidding you when I say DJ barely moved while drumming, it was honestly super impressive that he managed to produce such powerful rhythm without moving that much. Or maybe it was Mark Speer’s (the guitarist) assertiveness on the guitar. Regardless, Khruangbin as a unit provided a funkadelic show that ended my weekend perfectly.  

It was very interesting and pleasing how often they interspersed different tempos within the same song without things becoming chaotic. Mark Speer wasn’t afraid to break off into guitar solos but the dude kept it tasteful which I appreciated because often times guitarists go way too long on their solos and lose my attention. But Mark managed to keep his solos interesting and if anything they just further expanded the groove of their songs. You could tell how comfortable the band was with each other because they so easily vibed off of on another during their improvisations, which often made me think that their improv was really just what the song was supposed to sound like.

Also, Laura Lee is truly a bad ass! Our girl did an outfit change during the show and was being the lady boss Khruangbin needs. She absolutely destroyed the bass and even managed to dance while doing so. You know for a fact that when she sang “Evan Finds the Third Room” she was rocking her funky little heart out. Her head sharply nodded each time she confidently sang “Yes” and the crowd was eating it up. The band even put a phone on the stage for her to pick up and answer during the part where sings and pretends to be an operator of the Third Room. Laura sang into that phone with sass and wit, providing what felt like a little theatrical performance for the audience. I have 0 idea what the Third Room is but if Laura Lee will be there, then count me in.

Khruangbin does a fantastic job of drawing on rock, jazz, soul, funk and psychedelia while combining these Western/American genres with elements of Eastern and Latin influences to create a sound that is identifiable as their own. It was satisfying to be a part of crowd that loved them as much as I did. I also hope one day Laura Lee will invite me into her closet because that girl knows how to put together some LOOKS!!

Olivia Osborne, Staff

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