By Colton Bills
I found out a very strange coincidence when I went to see King Dude. The first opening band, Vancouver hard beat duo, Animal Bodies, had opened for Grimes in Seattle, then they walked off the stage and without saying their name. They played a more high energy show than in Seattle. They really got into their groove about halfway through the set, and it just got better from there. Their dark, synth heavy, noise-dance was not what I expecting to open for King Dude’s Gothic neo-folk.
Foie Gras was amazing. Also, quite a different mood altogether. When I was photographing, the room was so quiet that I had to be careful about pressing the shutter. Using the flash was totally out of the question – that would’ve ruined the mood for everyone. In her veil, softly crooning, she had me hanging on every gentle syllable. I was mesmerized. The words she sang were so genuine. For me, it was a highlight of the evening.
I had no idea what to expect from LA’s own Drab Majesty, but I was excited to see him. I was curious when a statue of Apollo was set out on the stage before he came on. He wore a Chinese-style white silk shirt and corpse paint on his face, a pretty interesting duo. The visuals behind him – a face talking on a loop with some weird glitchy stuff happening – was pretty cool. It was the perfect background for his equally dreamy, synthy shoegaze. I would say if you like anyone from Brian Eno to the Jesus and Mary Chain, you’ll probably like Drab Majesty.
I’m not going to lie, like a lot of my first encounters with bands, I didn’t really get King Dude at first. He played a show in my hometown of Santa Cruz for drone innovators EARTH on their Primitive and Deadly tour. The second time around, I would say King Dude really stole the show. I felt very lucky to be in the audience. He topped off the night with his excellent gothic Americana. The entire crowd was silent, except for some banter between them and the band in between songs. His set lasted the longest, probably an hour and a half at least. Overall, the set was awesome, ending with a sing along from the diehards in the crowd, and he brought Drab Majesty up. It felt special. I would suggest seeing King Dude the next time you can. Even if you think he’s not your thing, at least go check him out.