Live Review: The Kin with Find Vienna at Jammin’ Java, Vienna, VA – 9th October 2012

By on Wednesday, 17th October 2012 at 2:00 pm

The evening started off early for me this night. I was privy to a ‘musical robbery’ that the Kin was going to commit before the gig and I was poised to capture it on film. The band storms into an unsuspecting establishment like a diner, sings a song while pacing throughout the place, and then leaves. And not always on their own – they have been kicked out of more than one place! I had first learned of these 2 years ago when I saw them playing support for the Coronas. I have been wanting to be present at one ever since. With that in the bag (see the video at the end of this post), I headed over to the venue for the main event.

Opening up that night was a formerly local singer songwriter named Struan Shields. Odd name, but a lovely voice. He seemed very young up there just him and his guitar, but after joking that he felt naked, he had us all on his side. The second support came from Find Vienna (pictured above), a Philadelphia four-piece. Since I am originally from Pennsylvania, when they took the stage, I had images of ‘south Philly’ flash through my head – low cut vest tops, combat boots, and gold chains. However, when lead singer Patrick Mencel opened his mouth, it was more like an angel singing than the roughness I expected. Not to say this is an angelic band or anything, they have the full on indie rock sound one would expect. Their EP ‘In Flight’ is a delightful find.

My third time seeing the Kin play and I can still say that I have never been to a show quite like it. They can make it feel like you are the only one they are singing to. From writing lyrics that go directly to the heart of the matter to bringing the show off the stage and right down on the floor, they make every gig an intimate affair. Sometimes the band can get you to sing along, some can get an effective call and response going, and others even let the audience take over singing the lyrics. The Kin, however, can do all this, even when not everyone in the audience is familiar with the music.

Originally from Australia, brothers Thorald and Isaac Koren started this band, but it really came together with the addition of one-of-a-kind drummer Shakerleg. Seriously, ONE-OF-A-KIND. The man plays his entire kit with no sticks whatsoever, just taped up fingers. Ouch. Plucked straight out of a prime location on the NYC subway system, this former street musician has all kinds of street cred to get the place rocking.


After about five songs, Isaac Koren leapt off the stage into the audience with his characteristic “Alright you lot!” and headed midway into the crowd. Thorald found him with an unplugged acoustic on his shoulder as they started into ‘America’, their tribute to their adopted country. Shakerleg soon joined them rolling a packing case into the circle, banging and stroking it like the true street musician he is. After three songs prowling, dancing, and singing with the crowd, the band reassembled on the stage to continue their set, peppered with yet to be released songs. The encore found them back out amongst us as the audience took over the singing of fan favourite ‘Abraham’. And, as gracious as they come, the band took their bows as we all belted out “When all is said and done, could we somehow be sons of Abraham”.

I have gotten the same incredible high from all the shows I’ve seen theirs. You come away from it feeling like you are part of it, like you really made a difference to the show. Musicians always say that they couldn’t do it without their fans, but it feels like the Kin really needs it. They do it for the punters and nothing else drives them as hard. They like to shake it up, they like to shock, and they will continue to do anything to get people involved. Their next album should be released early in the new year, and I hope they are back to tour it in my area soon.


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3 Responses

3:20 pm
17th October 2012

My next review, LOVE this band RT @tgtf: Live Review: The Kin with Find Vienna at Jammin’ Java, Vienna, VA :

3:21 pm
17th October 2012

@thekin @findvienna My review of last week RT @tgtf: New post: Live Review: The Kin with Find Vienna at Jammin’ Java,

4:17 pm
17th October 2012

RT @10YearsGone11: @thekin @findvienna My review of last week RT @tgtf: New post: Live Review: The Kin with Find Vienna at Jammin’ Java,

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