King Tuff w/ Tchotchke & Cool Bananas• March 10, 2023• Urban Lounge
Reviewed and Photographed by Alisha Gregson
On Friday, March 10th, King Tuff brought his tour in support of his sixth studio album to Salt Lake City’s Urban Lounge. The new album, Smalltown Stardust, was released just earlier this year. King Tuff’s fans were eager to hear him play his new music, as well as some of his older songs. Joining the tour was New York indie rock band Tchotchke. The new band made up of three talented women, impressed the crowd with their fun, retro rock vibes.
Before the touring bands took the stage, local band Cool Bananas started the night off. The band members had really fun energy on stage, and the audience liked their playful set. I always love it when you can tell the band enjoys performing, and cool bananas seemed to be having the time of their lives. They kept their performance entertaining, with one member randomly wearing a Rugrats mask while playing the bongo drums They especially entertained their crowd with their high-energy cover of Elton John’s “Bennie And The Jets.” Overall, they were an exciting band to watch.
Next up was the New York-based band Tchotchke. I had a minute to talk to their tour manager before they came out and he told me a little about the band. They originally had a different name, Pinky Pink, and were based in LA. Later, they moved to New York, replaced one of their members, and change their name to Tchotchke. The three talented girls that made up the band impressed me right away.
I was surprised when the drummer, Anastasia Sanchez, began singing lead vocals. Not many drummers also lead vocals, so that was fun to see. She had a beautiful voice and I was drawn in right away to their mesmerizing songs. The accompanying vocal harmonies from Eva Chambers (bass, vocals) and Emily Tooraen (guitar, vocals), were reminiscent of 60s/70s pop. Tchotchkes’ eclectic vintage sound was unique and a lot of fun. Their playful melodies and catchy songs won the crowd over. I, along with the rest of the audience, really enjoyed their set. I am looking forward to following their career and seeing them again.
After two exciting performances, it was finally time for King Tuff to entertain. The indie singer-songwriter has six studio albums. His current tour is in support of his most recent album, Smalltown Stardust. Standing at the center of the stage, he told the crowd he was excited to play some of his new music for them. One fan in the back shouted, “Play your old stuff too.” His older songs like “Black Moon Spell,” and “Sun Medallion” got the biggest reactions from the fans, but his newer songs like “Love Letter to Plants” and “How I Love,” were also well received.
King Tuff’s set blended multiple styles of music and kept me wondering what I would hear next. From psychedelic rock to grunge, and some funk, it was an exciting and high-energy set. Although I was not previously familiar with his music, I noticed his newer songs were a little softer than his older stuff. He did a great job mixing things up, keeping the crowd engaged throughout the night. At one point he asked what famous bands started in Utah. I heard people shout lots of names, including Imagine Dragons and Neon Trees. After listening to the crowd answer for a minute, King Tuff said, “That’s the one, The Osmonds. This next song is dedicated to them.”
Near the end of his set, King Tuff walked off stage and returned wearing a shiny pink and blue wizard outfit. His new look got the crowd pumped up. Fans danced and sang along as he finished out his set. He ended the night with what seemed to be his most popular songs, “I Love You Ugly,” and “Bad Thing.” King Tuff was talented and gave his fans a great show at The Urban Lounge.