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KONGOS+preforms+at+the+Big+Fresno+Fair+on+Friday%2C+Oct.+10.+
KONGOS preforms at the Big Fresno Fair on Friday, Oct. 10.

South African rock band KONGOS performs at Fresno Fair

KONGOS preforms at the Big Fresno Fair on Friday, Oct. 10.
KONGOS preforms at the Big Fresno Fair on Friday, Oct. 10. Darlene Wendels/ The Collegian

The KONGOS came to rock the Fresno Fair Friday night, to a crowd of about 500 people. They are currently on tour in support of their debut album, “Lunatic.” The band also mixed in some of their new, unreleased material while playing their set.

The KONGOS are made up of four brothers, Johnny (accordion, keyboard, vocals), Jesse (drums, percussion, vocal), Daniel (guitar, vocals) and Dylan Kongos (bass guitar). The KONGOS are a South African alternative-rock band who spent their childhoods in London and South Africa. They are the sons of John Kongos, a singer-songwriter who had a couple of major hits back in the United Kingdom.

They saved their top hit “Come with Me Now” for their last song of the set, before their two-song encore. “Come with Me Now” is currently No. 31 on the U.S. charts, and topped at No. 7 on the Canadian charts.

One of the more humorous parts of the evening came when they were about to play their other popular single, “I’m Only Joking”, ranked as No. 13 on the U.S. alternative charts. When lead singer Daniel said they were going to play the “family friendly” version of the song and leave out certain profanity, he proceeded to say the obscene word before humming the word when the instrumental faded out.

Although the KONGOS are labeled as an alternative-rock band, there is no reason to doubt their potential in performing different genres and sounds, as every song they played had a unique sound the entire night.

“I’ve been looking forward to this concert, it was the only one I was really interested in going to at the fair,” said Fresno State sophomore Zachary Kaiser. “They have a rockabilly feel with some aspects of jam-rock, slight hints of psychedelic, but strongly founded with a pop-sense.”

One of the most entertaining parts of the concert was Johnny’s accordion playing mainly due to his charisma, or lack thereof, that the crowd really connected to. He never smiled, or said a word besides the choruses to the song, but every time he had an accordion solo, or was using his sound box to voice out the chorus to “Come with Me Now,” the crowd roared.

“I am so glad I came. I only listened to some of their top songs, but after this concert I will definitely be listening to them from now on,” said Sophie Libaryen, a concertgoer. “They have a really unique sound and the accordion player was awesome.”

They clashed many of these old sounds, like the accordion, the slide guitar and combined them with new sounds. The combination of sound was never more apparent then when their band manager, Moezart, rapped alongside some of their songs. It worked. Some of the loudest reactions of the crowd happened because of the rapping and accordion playing in total sync.

The KONGOS will continue on their tour and are currently opening for One Republic’s European Tour. They won’t be back stateside until Dec. 4 in Portland, Oregon.

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