KING SUNSHINE at Revival, December 14. Tickets: $10-$12. Attendance: 250. Rating: NN
seeing all the chatty business types toasting each other with Niagara Peninsula Chardonnay as Revival's doors opened for the evening's King Sunshine performance, you'd never suspect that a house music band was about to get down.However, as folks knocked back their drinks and the tables magically began to disappear into the basement, the jackhammer thump of ancient tech-house and rising clouds of cigarette smoke indicated that this was indeed a dance venue.
Instead of playing two shorter sets, King Sunshine made the mistake of playing one lengthy set beginning at midnight. They could've used an early set to sound check on their rented PA while the crowd was changing over, instead of buzzing like a toilet full of hornets for their paying fans arriving fashionably late.
No one onstage seemed concerned about how bad the sound was. They just merrily went about their business of grooving while the collegiate-looking horn players hesitantly tooted their lines from sheet music while trying to step in time with the beat.
Remember this isn't jazz -- it's house. So brief solos came and went St. Germain-style (i.e., without any real improvisational interaction) as the band continued their fuzzy flow from one 4/4 joint into the next. The main difference between this and St. Germain, apart from the smiling Frenchmen posing with their instruments, was that King Sunshine didn't have their plodding rhythms stored on DAT.
After the first 10 minutes, just about everybody in the place shuffling side to side probably had a good idea of how the next 90 would unfold, and King Sunshine appeared to have neither the chops nor the inclination to offer any thrilling departures from the inevitable thunk-thunk-thunk-thunk. Ho-hum.