Kid Koala’s “Vinyl Vaudeville” @ Brighton Music Hall

Paper planes? Congo line? Puppets? 3 beautiful female dancers?  I know, it all sounds kind of weird when you put it together like that, but when you add in these small couple additional facts, it starts to make a bit more sense.  First off, it was on Sunday night at a place called Brighton Music Hall in Boston, Massachusetts.  Secondly, we were there to see a man we had all heard about and most of us looked up to, Kid Koala.  Third, Kid Koala IS in fact the man above, a 37 year old turntablist with a knack for spinning vinyl in the weirdest of situations, such as while dressed up in a koala suit.  Now add in the paper planes, congo line, puppets and the 3 beautiful dancers and it makes a bit more sense right?

Of course it doesn’t.  The show still doesn’t even make sense to me when I think back on it.  There I was, amidst a crowd of excited Bostonians who had no idea what was in store for them.  Kid Koala otherwise known as Eric San came out, cheery as ever illuminating the venue with his smile.  In front of him lay 3 turntables and a mixer, a drum synthesizer and a keyboard to his left.  He proceeded to mix a capela vocal samples with raw beats, transitioning from one classic to the next.  His scratches were clean and quick, and since I hadn’t seen vinyl DJs like him before, I was in awe.  Kid Koala used the turntable exactly like a musical instrument, whether that was by beat juggling two indie folk records to make a Hip-Hop routine or scratching the horn sections of two records to transform his sound into something completely new.  It bewildered me, but he was just getting started.  He then stated, “Don’t be afraid of all these rectangular things up here, these are just calculators from the 1990s.  I’ve just got some battery powered sampling action here and a looper and I’m gonna make this thing from scratch, you ready?”.  No Kid Koala, we definitely weren’t ready for what came next.  In a matter of seconds, Kid Koala had began making his track ‘1’ bit blues’ completely from scratch, creating the beat on the synthesizer and using the keyboard as a piano for it’s harpsichord notes.  Running between his “calculators” from the 1990s and his turntables, Kid Koala scratched and improvised on his track ‘1 bit blues’ like it was his day job.  Oh wait, it was.

Kid Koala ran through some of our favorite records while up on stage.  He’d take rock records, jazz, blues, Hip-Hop (yes, there was some Outkast), classical and mix them all together, scratching from one to the next.  3 beautiful dancers came out midway through the show surprising everyone, and continued to interact with the crowd such as seductively biting an apple and sticking it the mouth of a man in front of the stage.  They dressed up as different puppets and held a Kid Koala certified puppet show, portraying how to make a turntable and scratch, the story of Kid Koala’s song ‘8 bit blues’ or throwing paper planes into the crowd.

The thing about Kid Koala’s show is that he’s such a genuine guy.  It’s pretty obvious that the man just likes to have fun.  There were a bunch of crazy antics that I’d like to give away here, but I won’t give them all away because you really should just go and see the show yourself.  However, I will say that he led his own congo line with the crowd, which then turned into a limbo line (yeah we limboed with Kid Koala, be jealous) all while he made the beat we limboed to with a handheld beat synthesizer.  He put on a koala suit in the middle of the show and said, “Last year I lost a bet and because of this bet I have to wear a koala suit for 120 concerts, FML”.  Kid Koala proceeded to spin the track he wrote for the children’s TV show, Yo Gabba Gabba, and wore a smile the entire time.  We were all surprised when he jumped in the crowd after blowing our minds with how fast his hands could move and led us in singing the lyrics.  It kind of reminded me of being a kid.  If you have the chance to see Kid Koala’s Vinyl Vaudeville show, I highly suggest going.  You’ll never feel old again after you see this guy in a koala suit, it’s one of the most adorable things ever.