King Tuff Takes the Urban Lounge with ‘Smalltown Stardust’


King Tuff (Courtesy of Wyndham Garnet)

By Ethan Blume, Arts Writer


Having just experienced the heartbreak that was the cancellation of a concert from one of my favorite bands, Viagra Boys, I was glad to stumble across King Tuff and discover that he was coming to the Urban Lounge. He, along with his openers, were excellent, leading to a thoroughly enjoyable concert.

Cool Banana

Cool Banana was the perfect opener. They were such a successful hype band, achieved through constantly shouting out the other acts that were gonna play while simultaneously bringing energy to the stage. They had a great stage presence, including various inflatable objects and costume switches. At the beginning of the third song, one of the band members — who they later dubbed “Stephen Spielberg” due to his “Jaws” shirt — put on a “Rugrats” character head and jammed out. After their set, they came out into the crowd and mingled with the audience. It was a super fun performance with some good tunes to boot.


Tchotchke started out with a slight delay as one of their band members was not on the stage, but as soon as they were all there they launched into the first song, barely stopping throughout their whole set. They were definitely the most enjoyable set for me, as their performance was absolutely incredible and it made me want to check them out, but they did not have a whole lot of stage presence.

They didn’t interact much with the crowd during their show, except to say they got stuck in a snowstorm after their last show. The drummer, who was also the main singer, did look like they were having a lot of fun though, whipping their hair back and forth as they rocked on. All in all great music, but I wish there was a little more engagement and presence.

King Tuff

King Tuff was the only artist I had heard of going into this show, having listened to his newest album just a few days before the performance. I knew he was previously in a stoner metal band called Witch, and I was secretly hoping he would bust out some of those songs. He didn’t, but he did play a really good mix of his newer, softer music with his older heavier music. This blending of styles, along with his fantastic stage presence and great banter between the band members and the crowd, led to a very high-energy and entertaining show.

The band all had matching ascots on, which gave some cohesion and made it feel like a performance rather than just a concert. Adding to this feeling, he switched into a wizard outfit towards the end of the show, which he dubbed his “power outfit.” They definitely put on a great show, and I would recommend checking them out next time they tour.

‘Smalltown Stardust’

I am not crazy about indie rock, but this album was a pleasant surprise. It sounded like a mix of ’70s rock and more modern indie efforts, reminding me of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard‘s latest albums. I am not sure how often I would listen to the album as a whole, but the song “The Bandits of Blue Sky” has been stuck in my head — partially because I listened to that song while playing one of the bridge levels in the original “Crash Bandicoot,” which I absolutely love and thought strangely fit the song. A fine album that was definitely best experienced live. 

Overall, King Tuff brought a beautiful show to an iconic Salt Lake stage.


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