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KONGOS | March 10, 2015


The South African brothers in KONGOS brought the tail-end of their first ever North American headlining tour (2015 Lunatic Tour) to the Fillmore in San Francisco, California. Ahead of show time,there may have been a few tickets still available at the door, but there could not have been many since the venue went ahead and printed show posters which are normally reserved for sell-outs.

As the fans began to trickle in, they likely pondered what was behind the giant curtain that seemed to cut off the back half of the the already-small Fillmore stage and as openers Colony House and Sir Sly tore through their sets as lights on stage strobed spastically,  how cramped the quarters were only became more clear as each joined the other on stage for a song.

The crew made quick work of the stage, removing Sir Sly’s equipment and replacing it with KONGOS’ gear, resulting in a loud cheer from the crowd as drum kit was rolled to the center of the stage. When the mid-stage curtain finally fell, it revealed … a KONGOS Lunatic backdrop. The brothers took the stage and lined up left to right, Johnny, Dylan, Jesse and Dylan not seeming to notice or need the missing space and clearly making the point that there is no front-man in this band and that duties were to be shared equally.

 The set kicked off with I’m Only Joking with Jesse handling lead vocal duties from his drum throne …  the thumping of the bass completely blowing away what could ever be achieved in a digital or physical format. 30 seconds in, it was abundantly clear to the first-time viewer that this is a band that needs to be heard live in order to be truly appreciated.
After Kids These Days, the backdrop was yanked away, revealing a wall of LED screens that brightened the stage dramatically and revved up the already-eager audience. Mid-set Dylan exclaimed, “help us out on this one!” If that didn’t give a clue as to what was coming, the accordion was a dead give-away. The crowd, which had been somewhat lulled by the hypnotic This Time I Won’t Forget, immediately perked up for Come With Me Now and stayed that way through the remainder of the 90 minute set which included a elegantly KONGO-ized rendition of the Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby.
If you missed this tour, you’re unfortunately out of luck; the band is heading to South America and then home to record a new album.
  • Hey I Don’t Know
  • Sex on the Radio
  • Kids These Days
  • Escape
  • Take Me Back
  • It’s a Good Life
  • I Don’t Mind
  • As We Are
  • This Time I Won’t Forget
  • Come With Me Now
  • Eleanor Rigby  (The Beatles cover)
  • I Want to Know
  • Take It from Me
  • I’m Only Joking


  • Tokoloshe Man
  • Blue Monday (New Order Cover)

Supporting acts: Sir Sly, Colony House

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© 2015 Alan Snodgrass | Please do not use without express permission. If you like what you see, leave a comment below and subscribe so you can be notified of new posts. You can also become a fan on Facebook.

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