Concert Review: The Kin at the House of Blues in Boston, MA
Reviewed by: Sally Feller
Australian brothers Isaac and Thorry Koren dazzled a small crowd at the House of Blues, opening for hippie jam band favorites Rusted Root. They were unfortunate enough to have a show the night of a Sox game at Fenway, just across the street, but after a relatively small early crowd, The Kin was able to welcome in a larger and more energetic crowd halfway through their set. Those of us lucky enough to catch this band’s opening performance were appropriately wowed. Thorry’s vocals captured the attention of even the most reluctant of the hippie crowd’s ears.
With a couple of guys that look like Guess models as an opening band, I expected a lot of drooling girls and women, but found instead a mix of guys and girls tapping their feet—perhaps a testament to the genuine appeal of The Kin’s musical offerings. The brothers harmonize remarkably well, with Thorry picking up most of the powerful soul-grabbing notes and Isaac pounding out complementary notes on the keyboards.
We were also treated with a short interlude of didgeridoo beat-boxing. During this moment, I heard someone behind me say, “dude, you’re not an elephant, stop,” so I guess something so unfamiliar is an acquired taste for some non-Aussies. The mixing of tribal instruments from their hometown with modern rock was impressive, but I’m not sure the crowd had a chance to adjust to what was going on as this interlude was only a minute or two long. Doing an entire song with the inclusion of the didgeridoo might help…unless dude-you’re-not-an-elephant-girl were in the crowd, in which case, violence might ensue.
Other show highlights included a gorgeous seafaring tune called “Abraham” that the brothers wrote for their father’s wedding. “Together” was a familiar favorite for me and several other members in the crowd. The song has been featured on several TV shows in the past year or so, including CBS’s “Moonlight” (yep, I was still the only person who watched that show), MTV’s “The Hills” and “Real World,” and Lifetime’s “Army Wives.”
There are subtle hints of some of the more talented boy band ballads in several of The Kin’s songs, but don’t let it deter you from listening to their full album, as they shatter that same genre only moments after, drawing from the more classical jazz and folk genres. However, they do seem to be one of those bands with broad appeal that you could throw in the CD player (or…whatever…your iPod speaker hub…you damn kids with your high-fallutin’ technology) on a road trip with your friends, your parents, and even your grandparents—they have a pretty universal musical appeal. Listening to them probably won’t make you an uber-hipster, but you won’t lose your street cred, either. (You might, however, if you’re a music reviewer and you buy The Kin’s latest album from their merch table like a commoner, ahem).
If you’re on the East Coast, definitely catch these guys live and prepare to be caught up in some catchy pop glory. And Bostonians, I almost hate to write this in case it sells out and I can’t get a ticket, but The Kin will be back in town in October, so keep your eyes open.
For more info on The Kin visit their official website