Khruangbin is an interesting trio based out of our own good old Houston, Texas. They’re an instrumental band, using their cumulative sound, a good combination of funk-based grooves with hints of Jazz, World and a bit of everything to sweeten their sound, to lure in listeners. Seeing them as the headliner instead of the supporting act was a pleasant change. For me, it was a clear indication as to how far they’ve come, with the appropriate recognition to follow suit.
Will Van Horn opened up for Khruangbin, another Houston native brimming with musical talent. To those not familiar with him, don’t worry as I wasn’t either. All you need to know is this man and his friends make fantastic music that’s more than appropriate to open for Khruangbin. They’re an instrumental band, so it helped set the mood for the night, which was enhanced by the Steel Pedal guitar Will used for the set. Read up, check their music out on the usual platforms because they’re only going to get bigger from here on out.
Khruangbin played at White Oak Music Hall in Houston as a part of their tour promoting their sophomore album, Con Todo El Mundo. Appropriately, they started off their set with the lead track from the album, “Como Me Quieres.” Middle Eastern driven guitar, a tight rhythm section and strong stage presence overall, came together to start the night right, putting the crowd into an excited yet calm state. They continued the rest of the night with a mixture of songs from Con Todo El Mundo as well as tracks from their debut album The Universe Smiles Upon You. Towards the end of the set, Khruangbin played their signature medley, paying homage to hip-hop and funk classics like “Nuthin But a G Thang” and “Summer Madness,” while also introducing themselves simultaneously.
Khruangbin were originally supposed to end their set with their most popular track, “White Gloves.” However, the audience and I longed for more, and after an enthusiastic and genuine push for an encore, we got one. Khruangbin finished off the night with songs from their first EPs and their most upbeat song, “People Everywhere (Still Alive).” This performance proved to the people everywhere that they were, in fact, still alive by playing the encore to perfection, and ending the night as strong as they had started.
Overall, the experience was better than my first encounter with Khruangbin, which I thought would be a difficult feat to achieve. But like fine wine, Khruangbin only gets better with age. They’re more refined, improving their sound and stage presence after each show. Other than “Zionsville,” they played my favorite tracks “Lady and Man,” “Evan Finds the Third Room,” and “Mr. White.” My friends and I agree that we couldn’t have asked for a better night from Khruangbin (one friend actually had his guitar neck signed by Mark, so that capped off an already incredible night.)
To anyone who hasn’t seen Khruangbin live yet, carve some time out of your schedule to do so. They’re more than worth your time.