Kongos w/ Fitness
Neptune Theatre, Seattle, WA

As the excitement of the holidays and celebrations of the New Year faded away, the world gave us something new to look forward to: festival lineups, tour announcements, and the first shows of the new year. One of the first to roll through Seattle was Kongos, a fun alternative band that’s been around a few times in the last couple of years, garnering a bigger crowd each time.

After Fitness opened the night with their spooky, 80s-vibe set, Kongos took the stage with their latest release, 1929, Pt. 1. The new album features much of their old sound—a funky, earthy take on alt-rock that manages to feel both fun and gritty at the same time. The group is a powerhouse of siblings: four Kongos brothers that write, record, and do all the sound engineering by themselves. They left their label and were still able to pack The Neptune all while recording their podcast together or filming their YouTube tour documentary series. They really do it all, and the synchronicity shines through in the music.

They seem to stay on track—while the music has matured from their debut self-titled album, it still has the same base elements, and if you put their discography on shuffle, you wouldn’t be able to pick out “phases” or decipher which era each track came from. They’ve honed their skills as a group after so long on stage and in the studio together, creating a beautifully put-together live set.

From newer tracks like “Pray for the Weekend” and “Real Life” to old hits like “Take it From Me” and “I’m Only Joking,” the crowd seemed to know and enjoy every single word, just like they do every time Kongos is in town. The South African siblings definitely thrive on their relationship with each other, and they’ve created a performance so unique from what we usually see that it’s impossible to look away.

Review and photos by Lulu Dawson