aKING launched their third studio album, The Red Blooded Years, on Tuesday, 23 February, at the Fugard Theatre and we were right in the front row, staring up at the array of lanterns on stage, awaiting the darlings of Bellville.
The night kicked off with their new music video of 'The Runaround', produced by Louis Minnaar - A visual mixture reminiscent of the Beatles' 'Yellow Submarine' as well as Van Coke Kartel's Voor Ons Stof Word (the latter also produced by Minnaar) - and it really set the tone for the evening.
The balance between old and new material and the transitions of one song to the next were clean, thought through and well executed. As always, the reworked intro riffs in the live sets are innovative and add depth to the performance and these guys make it seem effortless! Laudo Liebenberg remains a strong front man without overpowering the rest of the group. His strong voice paired with well-articulated lyrics (and a very sexy nautical T-shirt) almost caresses you, especially when he does Shine Your Light. The man knows how to create drama through music. The standout song for the evening: Definitely the VH1 Hits-sounding ballad, 'Holding On'. This is one is bound to be the soundtrack to many a Bellville teenager's corny love story this year.
The night's funnies for me were definitely Andrew Davenport and Hennie van Halen's dancing skills: What WAS that? Hennie reminded me of David Kramer half-bent over his guitar in red vellies. NEE HENNIE NEE! And, Andrew... I can never figure out whether this boy's in pain, in desperate need for the loo or just uncomfortable infront of crowds. I'm sure though that the chirping from his Thieve band mate and Die Heuwels Fantasties guitarist, Fred Mouton didn't really help there.
Apart from these antics, we all recognised and appreciated the aKING formula, but I was a little bit disappointed that I didn't see anything new and surprising from an event perspective. It somehow did not feel like a major event to me. Rather more like just another rock show. Maybe a colab of some sorts would have helped? Laudo doing a dance-solo (snicker)? Perhaps just telling the story of how the album came to would have tied the album to the show and why we were all there. But I guess the music was to speak for itself: another tight show by aKING.
Watch out for the album review on BizLounge soon!
aKING will be back at the Fugard Theatre on 10 and 11 March.
Natalie has worked in the media marketing industry for several years. She currently works for content marketing specialists, New Media Publishing, in their marketing department. She loves music from Bellville and sushi from Beluga and she's just a tad OCD.
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