>> Kongos most recent release, ‘1929 Pt.1,’ (January 18) is just a small glimpse into what the four brothers have coming for us next few years. This latest release offers more synth sounds, which seems to be the go-to vibe for many other bands, Kongos still infuse their own feels into their music especially with their iconic use of the underrated accordion.
Jamming out to the entire new album in anticipation of this concert, I whipped my car out of Rochester that evening. The closer I was to the venue, the faster my heart raced. Once inside Town Ballroom (Buffalo, NY), the light slowly dimmed down and the crowd inched closer to the stage. People were hollering from all around the venue, “we are so happy you are back!” Kongos’ appearance in Western, New York was a big deal. As it has been almost 5 years since their last debut in Buffalo at Alternative Buffalo’s 2014 Kerfuffle! The fans were hyped for the show and you better believe I was excited!
Kongos opened up with their track off their latest album, “I Am Not Me.” The beats and melody were carefully crafted and blend into this new tune. Although this new album doesn’t pack as much punch and aggression in the melody as their previous records, it was beautifully crafted into something different, while still staying true to the Kongos underlying sound.
The Kongos brothers are something else. The musical talent that these 4 brothers possess is out of this world! As they rocked out to some of their older tracks, “The World Would Run Better” and “Take It from Me,” the crowd went nuts. You could feel the atmosphere shift within the venue, it was truly amazing and inspiring.
“We might not have a sold-out show tonight, but Buffalo I heard you guys are crazy at shows, so let’s make this a party!” said Dylan, amping up the fans to a new high. The audience began to move up closer to the stage, sing along, and dance wildly.
The highlight of the night was being able to hear their new track, “Stand Up,” live. The song has a strange and unique tango-inspired romantic vibe. This vibe allows you to let go and imagine yourself in a breath-taking new world. While listening to this song, visualize yourself in an exotic location. You are a secret spy, falling in love with this beautiful woman. Both of you look into each other eyes...then you realize she isn’t who you thought she is! She is the enemy that will take you to her boss to complete her mission. The melody and lyrics are so intricate that it left me transfixed, momentarily stuck in the spy world-- betrayed by the woman I thought I knew. This song made me think a lot about this new vibe that the band had created.
“Stand up, and take me to your leader
Sit down, and tell me 'bout your freedom”
These two sentences sunk in and hooked me completely. “Stand Up” is now officially one of my new favorites. The energy you feel as these lyrics pass through your ears is downright incredible and the accordion solo adds a unique flavor that urges you to get off your feet and dance around to the beat.
Kongos spoke to the audience, “You see the ‘part 1.’ on our latest album? That is because there are parts 2 and 3 coming out in the future!” This band also let the audience know that this new music has been in the works since 2015! This nugget of information shows the level of dedication and prolonged creative process that goes behind each individual track this band produces.
The band ended their set with one of their most well-known songs, “I’m Only Joking,” captivating the audience. As I looked around, everyone was clapping, singing, and beaming with joy. The hype so over the top that I couldn’t help but join in. I set my camera down and jumped around singing their lyrics at the top of my lungs!
“I'm only joking And I don't believe a thing I've said
What are you smoking I'm just to fuck with your head
Only a crazy little thing I read
Only a crazy little thing I read”
The drums beat sunk in, making you feel as if you are ready to march into a battle. The absolute power and energy that these 4 brothers brought to this venue was on a whole new level! The only thing I can say is, if you missed out on this show, you really missed out on something magical. Until next time Kongos! <<