KING (Concert Review)

When KING released their EP, The Story, in 2012 a shockwave was sent through the internet.  In what began as a project to share with family and friends, KING garnered the attention from musical heavyweights such as Prince, Questlove, Kendrick Lamar, and others. Far reaching their personal expectations.  While the group gained the respect and support of many, they practically went unheard from for much of the next four years.  After a four-year hiatus, KING released their debut album this past February, which has since received critical acclaim. In support of their album, KING has ventured out on tour spanning three continents.  On Wednesday night, KING made their stop at The Foundry, the club venue inside The Fillmore.

Just after 9 PM KING took the stage, opening their set with Mr. Chameleon, an up tempo song that immediately locks you into a groove. At the peak of the groove, KING seamlessly floated into the vamp of El DeBarge’s All This Love,  catching many in the audience by surprise. A staple of KING’s music is their uncanny ability to match rich vocal harmonies with synthesizers and intricate chord progressions – all in an effort to set a tone and introduce a smooth atmosphere. This was most evident on songs like In The Meantime, Love Song, and Red Eye, much slower paced songs, yet strongly captivating. Following The Story, KING moved into a cover of Zapp and Roger’s Computer Love as the audience passionately sang along.

When playing songs from their EP, The StoryHey, a fan favorite, The Story, and Supernatural – KING offered rearranged vocal and chord structures, giving a fresh spin. Without a band – in the formal sense – KING filled the room, keeping the audience engaged, as keyboardist, Paris Strother managed roughly four keyboards, and the backing tracks (it’s like she had an extra arm).

Closing out the night, KING played Oh, Please, an up tempo song reminiscent of jazz influenced 80’s R&B, as the audience danced along two-stepping and bopping.  KING’s ability to sing [well] live, and strong instrumentation offers them a versatility most artists don’t have. Their music translates well live, too.  KING has carved a lane for themselves, and it'll be interesting to see them as they continue on their journey as artists and performers.