San Francisco 7 October

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jrbarrie
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San Francisco 7 October

Postby jrbarrie » Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:42 am

I have not yet found a review of any K.S. 2016 West Coast tour date, so I wrote my impressions of the San Francisco gig. This is from a fan’s perspective.

Kula Shaker’s lyrical imagery and musical synergy shone during a rousing October 7 performance at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall to the delight of concertgoers. Fronted by the ever-animated Crispian Mills, the band served an electrifying 85-minute set of high-energy numbers and trippy ballads, including four songs from their luminous, inventive 2016 release K 2.0. Speaking to the enthusiastic crowd, Crispian recalled the group’s first San Francisco gig, an April 1997 outdoor concert at Union Square, where band members “got completely sunburned.” K.S. last played the City by the Bay in July 1999, and the band’s 2016 return in support of K 2.0 was wholeheartedly welcomed by Northern California fans who weathered the 17-year hiatus.

Crispian’s chimey guitar and spot-on soaring fretwork was augmented by the intricate, melodic bass runs of Alonza Bevan, the precision drumming and delicate percussion fills of Paul Winterhart, and the colorful aural brushstrokes and harmonic overtones of keyboardist Harry Broadbent. Playing uncannily tight, K.S.’s trademark multi-dimensional, swirling, kaleidoscopic soundscape was masterfully captured in subtlety and nuance by the group’s longtime tour sound-engineer Graham Pattison. During explosive numbers like Hush and 303 as well as more reflective material such as Ophelia and I’m Still Here, K.S. transmitted a joyful vitality to the audience as they effortlessly brought to life well-chosen selections from their diverse 20-year catalog. Crispian’s sparkling vocals, energetic presentation, and palpable chemistry ignited ticketholders during the vibrant 19-song set.

Opening with crowd-favorite Hey Dude, the band deftly performed shimmering versions of songs from all five studio albums (the only cut from 2007’s Strangefolk was a snippet from Narayana, which seamlessly segued into K.S. staple Tattva, with its clever Beatlesque chord changes). Slyly altering the lyrics to Great Hosannah, Crispian intoned a political sentiment that resonated with the Bay Area gathering: “We may think there’s no future…But it’s the same for Donald Trump.” The droning, otherworldly Infinite Sun hypnotized the crowd, while an inspired, audience-engaged Govinda topped the three-song encore. Tapping into the transcendent Reality that drives their music, K.S. infused attendees of the venerable San Francisco venue with an evening of entrancing lyrics, hooky melodies, and picturesque images from their sublime, wide-ranging body of work. Fans can only hope that K.S. returns to the States in the near future.

Opening for Kula Shaker were the California-based Kirtaniyas, whose jubilant, soulful call-and-response Sanskrit chanting, accompanied by Malini Dasi’s mesmerizing Bharat Natyam dancing, colorfully and evocatively set the mood for the show.
drykid
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Re: San Francisco 7 October

Postby drykid » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:36 pm

Nice review :) I enjoyed Crispian's Trump reference heh. And they played "I'm Still Here" too... even better :)
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Ralf
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Re: San Francisco 7 October

Postby Ralf » Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:55 am

Thank you! :)
jrbarrie
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Re: San Francisco 7 October

Postby jrbarrie » Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:52 am

drykid wrote:Nice review :) I enjoyed Crispian's Trump reference heh. And they played "I'm Still Here" too... even better :)
Thank you. It was a stunning performance. Here is the setlist as best as I could determine (differs slightly from the setlist.fm posting):
Radhe Radhe (prerecorded intro) > Hey Dude
Hurry on Sundown
Grateful When You're Dead/Jerry Was There
Temple of Everlasting Light
Infinite Sun
Let Love B (With U)
303
I'm Still Here
Mountain Lifter
Shower Your Love
Ophelia
Mystical Machine Gun
Start All Over
Smart Dogs
Narayana > Tattva > Luke Skywalker’s Theme > Tattva
Hush

Encore:
33 Crows
Great Hosannah
Govinda

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