Show Review & Photos: Khruangbin w/ Will Van Horn @ the Moore

Khruangbin (w/ Will Van Horn @ the Moore, 11/16/2018
~ Show Review & Photos by Lisa Hagen Glynn

Khruangbin‘s Mark Speer & Laura Lee – photo by Lisa Hagen Glynn

Khruangbin landed at the Moore on November 16, 2018 for a nearly sold-out show. The psychedelic Thai-funk trio is predominantly instrumental and integrates diverse world influences. Based in Houston, Khruangbin (“airplane” in Thai) includes bassist Laura Lee, guitarist Mark Speer, and drummer Donald “DJ” Johnson. Their tour supported their 2018 release, Con Todo El Mundo.

They played tunes from across their discography, accented by kitschy touches like playing wine bottles with drumsticks, pausing to toast the audience, and dialing a prop telephone on “Evan Finds the Third Room.” Khruangbin was fashion-forward: Lee swayed and dipped in a slinky gold lamé gown right out of a Bond movie, Speer wore a pinstripe western suit and cowboy boots, and Johnson rocked a silver paisley poncho.

Laura Lee of Khruangbin – photo by Lisa Hagen Glynn
Mark Speer of Khruangbin

The set began as a seated concert, but a few tunes in Speer asked, “Seattle, you with us tonight?” Fans cheered and then poured down from the two balconies to dance in the main-level aisles. For the encore, Johnson reappeared (surprisingly) on solo piano. Speer and Lee followed, and Lee had changed into a sequined catsuit. Pedal-steel guitarist Will Van Horn joined the group for a diverse medley that included several rap tunes and a cover of “Wicked Game.” Khruangbin closed with their upbeat “Maria También.”

Will Van Horn, also a Khruangbin contributor, opened with his Houston-based band. Their style was difficult to predict from the eclectic influences cited on their Facebook page—“instrumental, exotica, country, rap, surf, pop”—but the combination worked well, and the pedal-steel guitar created melodic glissandos on covers by Dick Dale, Aphex Twin, and Britney Spears. Also stylish, Van Horn wore a grey fitted suit and cowboy hat, drummer Tank Lisenbe a “TANK” cap, and fretless-bassist Geoffrey Muller a white suit with crayfish hat and bull necklace.

***Editor’s note: Khruangbin returns to the Northwest with an appearance at THING on Sunday, August 25, 2019. Tickets are available for the 2-day Port Townsend, WA event here.***

Will Van Horn – photos by Lisa Hagen Glynn
Khruangbin – photos by Lisa Hagen Glynn