Photo by fotograf416 from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.
Ever-eccentric King Khan hit up Toronto a few times last week, playing at the Horseshoe on Wednesday and Thursday, Sonic Boom on Thursday, and Rancho Relaxo on Friday. While the Rancho gig consisted of “punks force-mingl[ing] with jock runoff…and some the finest hipster douche scum in Toronto,” according to Eye, the real fun apparently came at the Horseshoe earlier in the week.
How awkward the ‘shoe shows were depends on who you ask. Reader Sean Beresford e-mailed us an open letter called “Hate-on for Toronto must stop,” which we assumed was probably something about Montréal. No! (Well, actually, sort of.) Beresford was put off by the wrath of Khan on Wednesday night, which included the singer ranting about Toronto a la Rufus Wainwright, calling the audience “so fucking lame,” asking the male members to “show [their] manginas,” and getting disappointed—who can blame him?—when people refused to chant “ass and titties” along with him.
Some fellow attendees, like Jeff Corcoran (friend of the band and former road manager of the King Khan and BBQ Show) blame some members of the audience for Khan’s reaction; Corcoran told Torontoist that Khan was just “baiting” some of the “too-cool pieces of shit who come out to some of these shows,” and that the Wednesday audience was “ridiculously lame,” “just standing there with their arms crossed,” until Khan made the comments and “people actually started moving a bit during the songs.” Success?
Nonetheless, Beresford is “officially Mad As Hell And Not Going To Take It Anymore”: he left early and angrily with a pack of friends. Because it’s a slow Tuesday afternoon, and because Beresford’s chronicle of the evening is masterful in its awkwardness, we’ve reprinted the entirety of his open letter to King Khan after the fold.
The following is my opinion on the all-too-common trend of Toronto-bashing. It has become totally out of control, and as of last night’s King Khan and the Shrines live performance at the Horseshoe, I’m officially Mad As Hell And Not Going To Take It Anymore:
I used to like King Khan. I first saw them a few years back at their roof-raising performance at The Comfort Zone for NXNE. In over 20 years of attending live music, it was one of the best shows I’d ever seen.
Imagine my disappointment then, when I went to see King Khan and the Shrines at the Horseshoe on Wednesday night, and all he wanted to do was insult me and everyone else in attendance.
After the second song, Khan decided to launch into a hate-rant about Toronto, an inexplicable trend that is becoming all-too-familiar from the mouths of anyone who doesn’t live here (particularly those from Montreal, a place that King Khan has called home). “You guys are so easy to pick on,” he said. Funny, I didn’t think that was what I paid for…
After the third or fourth song, further Toronto-bashing ensued. This time his rant was ostensibly brought on by the crowd’s unwillingness to chant along with his boneheaded sing-a-long of “Ass and titties! Ass and titties!”
“You guys are so fucking lame, I can’t believe it.” were his exact words. Then, when an excited fan spilled about seven drops of beer on the stage, he had the audacity to say “Don’t throw beer on the stage! If you throw beer on the stage, I’m gonna come down there…” Oooh. The King wants us to not be lame, but then threatens us if a little beer is thrown around.
[Adds Beresford: “There was one incident where he asked the crowd to show him our manginas (not totally sure, but I think this is when a guy pulls down his pants and hides his ‘tackle’ between his legs to make it look as if he has no dick). When (shockingly!) no one obliged, he paced around, disappointed. Shortly thereafter someone in the front offered to do it, and he berated him by saying ‘No, man. It’s too late. It’s over.’ He sure is hard to please.”]
A further misogynist take on David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel” followed, featuring brilliantly embellished lyrics about fucking a girl in the ass. At this point my crew and I had had enough. We fled to the front patio of the Horseshoe, only to find another group of friends who were out there for the same reason. “I’d rather sit out here and smoke cigarettes that put up with that shit” was one friend’s claim.
What a shame. The Shrines were absolutely KILLER, too—they were clearly ready to bring it, only to be sandbagged by King Khan’s hate-banter.
Open letter to King Khan: If you really, truly don’t like Toronto, don’t come here and take our money under the pretense of putting on a show for us when all you really want to do is insult us. Rather, do yourself and all the residents here a favour: please—I implore you: DON’T COME BACK.