Top Ten Shows of 2010 (Pt.5)

2. Thursday September 9th 2010, Man Man @ The Rickshaw Theatre. 

I couldn't for the life of me find a jpg of the gig poster. I searched and searched and finally found one on flickr that was picture of the poster on a pole. But alas it was copywritten and I could not D/L it. Oh well, I saw lots of the posters on the street and I guess that is what mattered.

In all truthfulness I was really burned out for this show. Real Problems had just come off our little tour and before I could get a days rest it was back to the fray, more live music! But it was totally worth it because Man Man is insane.

The first band Let's Wrestle was british indie rock, that was nothing special. And by nothing special I mean you were better off to go to the Savoy next door and drink their $2 cans of beer. I didn't do this however because I think this was the only night The Rickshaw Theatre has ever offered Old Milwaukee on the drink menu, so I did a few of those. Not to mention I had to work the next day, and when there's a job to do I can't be hungover.

The Rickshaw was good and packed and this made me happy because as weird as Man Man are they definitely deserve to play in front of big crowds.

For a band Man Man has a strange set up. Piano and drums in the front of the stage, surrounded by the other three band members who play all kinds of different instruments. Sometimes doing guitar and bass duty, keyboards, horns, noisemakers and sometimes just beating on drums, it's a real spectacle. They played all the best and danceable cuts from 'Rabbit Habits' and even ventured into a lot of their new stuff which is yet to be released. A part of me thought that was awesome to get to hear these songs for the first time, and another part of me wanted more songs that I knew from the older albums. But it's safe to say that the new stuff is going to be good, I really look forward to their next album. This was another show that I knew I had to take my camera to, so let's let the pictures do the talking.

I had a good chat with the singer after the show and he was a real cool guy. At the end of the day this will only make you like the band more. I thought it was cool that he came out onto the floor to talk to all the fans that were still hanging around, and then was even more stoked to see the rest of the band out front of the venue talking to the crowd that remained. Really down to earth dudes.  

1. Monday April 12th 2010, King Khan and The Shrines @ Venue.

This was a no brainer. Now it may not have actually been the best show I saw all year as I was horribly unimpressed by the opener, but King Khan and The Shrines made me soon forget everything that had happened before them and put on the best performance I saw in 2010. 

I had looked into the first band via myspace and realized showing up late wouldn't be an issue for this show. The poster said the show started at 9:30pm so me and a crew strolled up in there probably closer to 10:30pm. I bumped into some friends who informed me that the show had not even started yet! I think there was some possible complications at the border, and they were waiting until they got the word from the Shrines before kicking things off. Finally the band started and it was beard and plaid indie rock. And boring beard and plaid indie rock at that. I suppose they had a couple of good tunes, but the bulk of it was killing my boner. We sat off to the side in one of those swanky velvet booths, almost feeling like we were in some kind of VIP section. That was awesome. We stayed there until the lights came down and the crowd started buzzing. We placed ourselves in good positioning to see the show, but after two songs I couldn't contain myself and was sweating it up on the dance floor to one of their best tracks, 'Land of the Freak'. 

King Khan and the Shrines are some kind of psychedelic garage surf rock funk band. Basically they take the best parts of a lot of different genres and mash them together to become one amazing band. They've got a three piece horn section, one guitar, bass and drums, a keyboard player and a go go dancer. And then there's King Khan. He is like a modern day James Brown, with a few less dance moves. This however doesn't hurt his stage presence in the slightest. He plays guitar on a couple of tracks, but usually just holds the microphone and interacts beautifully with the crowd. The rest of the band does a nice job of this as well, with the keyboardist jumping up on top of his keyboard, and the horn section sometimes trading their brass in for tambourines and the like and getting right down into people's faces while beating their instruments. 

After a rousing set of all the hits, King Khan disappears and the crowd screams for more. When he finally ventures back out onto the stage he is wearing only his ginch, a gold cape and some kind of World War II battle helmet with an iron cross on the front and proceeds to bang out 3 more tunes to the delight of the crowd. Then I bustled my ass to the skytrain station and luckily just caught the last train home. What a night! Now check out this vid of the show and an interview with King Khan himself.


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