Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Jun 19th 2009 11:46AM by Drew Berner
The Montreal expat, now based in Berlin, brought the King Khan and BBQ Show to the Horseshoe Tavern on Thursday night for their highly anticipated North by Northeast set. Early in the show he struck a punk rock pose, spitting on someone in the crowd. But where an old-school punk wouldn't think twice, Khan grinned sheepishly and mouthed an apology.
As raucous as Khan's performance was -- karate-kicking the air while wearing a turban and cape, shrieking into the mic, snapping guitar strings -- there were still glimpses of the person behind the persona.
Khan and Mark Sultan, who goes by the cryptic stage name BBQ, blasted through a set of garage revival tunes like a couple of '60s guitar heroes. Their thrift shop-quality axes were out of tune seconds into the first song, but they didn't seem to care as long as the volume was loud. Sultan's slapdash rhythm section -- a bass drum, snare and tambourine he played with his feet -- maintained their no-frills aesthetic while carrying the beat.
Everyone in the building knew they were in for something special -- King Khan's larger-than-life reputation precedes him so even when Jared Swilley of Black Lips joined in for a song, his blog-star presence couldn't upstage Khan in front of his disciples.
After it was all over, a fan called Khan "the best," prompting another shy grin and a modest "Thanks." Even Canada's craziest rock exports can't help but be polite.