Even as the cold breeze passed through the sparsely packed Lincoln Hall concert hall, I could feel a certain electricity brewing. The look of friendly faces in the crowd, the loose Friday night atmosphere, and the cathartic performances of both Sasami and Cut Worms cultivated quite an anticipation for the main act. Luckily enough for the audience and I, this anticipation was met with a very satisfying and polished act of gratification.
King Tuff provided the audience with electrifying guitar riffs, hard hitting percussion, and even some witty stage banter. They thrived on their eclecticism all night as evidenced by lead singer Kyle Thomas’ dazzling checkerboard suit. The startling contrast of “The Other” and “Raindrop Blue” made for a great opening to the performance. One moment with these guys you will be gloomily tapping your foot to a somber vocal driven ballad, the next you will be thrust into a dirty bass out groove. This exercise, in contrast, was also present in the transition from the tracks “Pyscho Star” to “Ultraviolet”. The light and bouncy drum and keyboard interplay on “Psycho Star” make for a perfect dancing environment whereas “Ultraviolet” is more of a fuzzed out, head-banging rock track. And even though King Tuff desire to fulfill a plethora of niches, they still manage to maintain their own identity.
Whether it is the soaring vocals on “Never Ending Sunshine” or the rambunctious space horn solo on “Infinite Mile”, King Tuff never fails to sound like themselves. They have officially established themselves as a great band and now they’re just having fun with it.