Kultur Shock 15th Anniversary at Chop Suey [Slideshow]
Seattle’s premier caravan of gypsy-punk-metal hellions, Kultur Shock, blew last weekend open with a marathon fifteenth anniversary celebration at Chop Suey Friday night, and it was a hell of a party.
A wonderful assemblage of humanity packed Chop Suey. Tippling Slavs gleefully sang along with singer Gino Srdjan Yevdjevich in their native tongue, even as energized punks and headbangers ricocheted against each other at the front of the stage (interestingly enough, a significant quotient of females seemed to be dishing out the slam-dancing). And the band, well, they couldn’t have been better.
Yevdjevich, dreadlocks exploding from the back of his otherwise shorn head, commanded the stage with a potent combination of headbanging bad-assery, gypsy charm, and political-firebrand passion. Guitarist Val Kiossovski threw fierce surf-guitar licks and Mideastern swirls atop the band’s heavy-metal crunch. The band’s bassist Guy Davis (also a member of storied Seattle rock trio Sage) and drummer Chris Stromquist kept the rhythms beneath the whole surging mass of sound lock-step perfect. Seattle multi-instrumentalist Amy Denio punctuated the songs with stabs of skronking sax and percussive vocalizing from another world. And if there’s another human being alive who plays violin with the artistry and uninhibited sensuality of KS’s Paris Hurley, please let me know their identity so’s I can crush on them, too.
Kultur Shock’s presence has been so ubiquitous on flyers and posters around town for so many years that it’s easy to pass them by. After seeing them live, that’s a mistake I’ll never make again. Nothing can beat seeing them work a stage in person, but pull up their website and play the stream of Ministry of Kultur while viewing the enclosed slideshow. That might come close. Maybe.