Khruangbin + The Mattson 2 Concert Review
Hosting The Mattson 2 from San Diego at my house, it is my duty as a Montrealer to introduce them to the Holy Trinity of Montreal staples. We started our day with Montreal bagels & cream cheese to complement the omelette, bacon, and lattes for breakfast. For lunch, I introduced them to a classic Poutine & Spruce Beer at Paul Patate in my hood, The Pointe. We then warmed up with a coffee at Lili & Oli on Notre-Dame before heading to Old Montreal to walk around. We soaked in the European flair of the city along with the bone-chilling wind of a winter that desperately wants to live past its time to die. After we packed up the gear from a successful sold-out show at the Fairmount, we finished the evening with a medium Smoke Meat from the famous Schwartz’s before closing.
They didn’t come to Montreal for the food, they opened for a band whose name is harder to pronounce than doing a Rubik’s Cube in the dark with your hands tied behind your back. Of course… in that situation… the Rubik’s Cube is the least of your worries, never mind the pronunciation of a band from Texas.
The Mattson 2 Set
The Mattson 2 twin brothers, Jonathan (Drums) & Jared (Guitar) entered in snazzy suits to a sold-out crowd, spread out throughout the venue. The warm San Diego surf sounds broke the ice and after the first song, the patrons rushed to stage to let their heat rub off on them. From that point on, their infectious grooves enchanted the crowd to sway as invisible waves crashed around them, propelling them deeper into the brother’s intricate arrangements.
All I knew about Khruangbin (“Engine Fly” in Thai) is that they had a Tarantinoesque sound. That they did, minus copious amounts of blood, which was quite a relief.
Laura Lee (Bass), Mark Speer (Guitar) and Donald “DJ” Johnson (Drums) all dressed as dapper as The Mattson 2, entered to a crowd ready to dance. The opening notes of “Como Me Quieres” was received with rapt attention. Even listening to it now, while writing this, it gives me goosebumps. A portal to the 60’s and 70’s opened up and we all gladly jumped in for the adventure.
They played tracks from Con Todo el Mundo (translated “with all the world”), the answer to Laura’s grandfather’s question of: “How much do you love me?” They played an equal number of tracks from The Universe Smiles Upon You.
At one point, when the band was introduced and Donald was left to do his drum solo, he stuck with his funk beat as steady as the flow of phone calls to City Hall about potholes.
The band ended the night with “People Everywhere (Still Alive)” with the lyrics “Still Alive” repeated over and over again, bringing us back from our journey through the 60’s and 70’s to a room of people with their jaws open, astounded at the talent that they witnessed by both bands tonight.
I’ve signed up to an online course to pronounce their name, but until I graduate… I will just call them: AWESOME.
Como Me Quieres
Two Fish and an Elephant
Lady and Man
Evan Finds the Third Room
Next Episode / Ice Cube / France Joli / Leon Haywood / Summer Madness
The Number 4
People Everywhere (Still Alive)