Show Review: King Krule at the Danforth Music Hall

By Christiane Johnston

When tickets for King Krule’s concert on October 29th came out back in August, I almost couldn’t reach for my wallet fast enough. As a fan of his first album, Six Feet Beneath the Moon, I was determined to hear the music in person, by the king himself.

Difficult to describe, Krule’s music is a fusion of punk, jazz, and hip hop brilliantly packaged together to create a perplexing sound that defies the parameters of any genre. His shockingly deep and gritty vocals only contribute to the obscurity of his sound. He was one of those artists that confused me at first, so naturally I had to keep listening. And the more I listened to his music, the more I loved it. Part of what makes his style so great is his ability to take elements from various genres that have no business interacting with each other, and figure out ways to throw them together in his songs.

When he released singles like, ‘Czech One’ and ‘Dum Surfer’ over the summer, I could only feel my excitement grow for the concert and new album. When The Ooz finally released in early October, I had it on repeat for days. It was like listening to a dazed and moody dream captured on nineteen tracks. If Blue had a sound, this is what I’m convinced it would sound like.

Because of his wide range of sounds that pander to what must be a diverse demographic of listeners, I had no idea what to expect in terms of the crowd and what it would be like. All I knew was that the show was sold-out, and that I needed the perfect view.

Show Me the Body, a hardcore band from New York, opened the show, and before their second song was over, the entire left side of the crowd was one big mosh pit. The mood was set.

When Krule finally emerged on stage, he started with ‘Has This Hit?’ from Six Feet Under the Moon, which was met by many cheers from his older, more dedicated fans. He continued his set with more from Six Feet and even performed ‘Rock Bottom’ from an EP he put out back in 2012. If any new fans were in the audience, they were getting the full catalogue.

The crowd was a sea of black denim and knit toques swaying to the music, captivated by Krule’s mysterious presence. ‘Dum Surfer,’ the first song played off The Ooz, shook up the vibe and the crowd got rowdier; by the time ‘Half Man Half Shark’ came on, people were moshing again.

Hearing King Krule live was an entirely different experience than just listening to him through my headphones. The live aspect of his music highlighted the jazz elements that are rooted in his songs in a way that I had previously overlooked. I noticed that my favorite parts of each performance were the instrumental solos that seemed to carry more feeling and expression than any lyrics.

After playing crowd favourites, and arguably his two most famous songs, ‘Baby Blue’ and ‘Easy, Easy,’ Krule ended what felt like too short a set. The audience, appearing to feel the same, began to clap and cheer, eager for an encore. The King returned, remarked on the great attitude of the audience and closed with my personal favourite, ‘Out Getting Ribs.’ When House lights came on, myself and the audience reluctantly made our way out of the hall, already nostalgic for a night that wasn’t over.IMG_5777.jpg


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