Kiki and Herb, Will Die For You

Michaelangelo Matos

By Michaelangelo Matos

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Indie rock’s premier lounge interpreters go crazy onstage.

Shortly before Christmas, 2005, I saw this unhinged, sharply funny avant-cabaret drag duo perform in Seattle, and during intermission, the friend with whom I attended overheard a couple that appeared to be on a first date exchange some comments. Man (eagerly): "What do you think of the show?" Woman: "I don't think it's funny. At all." Her loss, especially considering Kiki's first words of the duo's encore: "Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. If I could love, I would love you all." More impressive: That terrific performance contained almost nothing from this two-part "farewell" concert at Carnegie Hall. Vocalist/raconteur Kiki (Justin Bond) and pianist Herb (Kenny Mellman) transform everything they touch, from Suicidal Tendencies '"Institutionalized" to the impossible "Revolution Medley." Do you like Gil Scott Heron? Wu-Tang Clan? Eminem? Talking Heads? You've never heard any of them like this before.