King's X -- Pougkeepsie, NY -- August 16th, 2009
Well, it's been a crazy past 36 hours. I've covered 10 hours' worth of driving, including playing a show in NYC and seeing a show in NY state. This probably wouldn't have raped my well-being as bad if I had slept more than 5 hours on Friday night. Nevertheless, I have a review to get to.
To make a long story, well, about as long as it should be: I was originally supposed to go to this show for free due to one of the opening bands getting me on the guest list, so the 3-hour (one way) drive would be justified by saving the extra gas money on free entry and seeing one great support band, but they pulled out of the show. Unfortunately I was not notified until it was too late for me to make either of the two shows closer to me. I've been listening to King's X a lot lately and was really looking forward to this, and following a positively ecstatic review from a friend of mine a few days ago, my sister and I decided to say damn our shitty financial situation and growing fatigue from our own show on Saturday night, we were gonna go and see King's X.
We left our house at about 4:15pm, and made decent time getting up to Poughkeepsie, parking around 7-7:15-ish. We went into the venue around 7:30 and saw 2 opening bands. One was an actually pretty good instrumental progressive rock/metal band called Mazmyth, and the other was a pretty inappropriate band called last Perfect Thing.
King's X came on around 9:40, and fucking rocked. I've always found that one of the most tired phrases out there is when radio-listening idiots compliment trios for "putting out a lot of sound for three guys", when in reality it's just tons of studio overdubs which can't be replicated live without massive assistance. That being said, that actual concept is very true of King's X. Doug's bass sound is absolutely huge, and the vocal harmonies are spot-on. We were front row right in front of Doug and it was great. There was a ton of band-crowd interaction which always makes for a better show. I can't compliment the musical and vocal tightness of the band enough, but the thing that made my jaw hit the floor was the absolutely amazing performance of "Over My Head", which had to be well over 10 minutes long.
Following an extended intro and then the song as usual through the instrumental break, Ty Tabor did an absolutely fantastic extended guitar solo which built on itself perfectly until exploding in sheer brilliance. I've always found his playing really cool, but this solo was totally amazing. After that, the band mellowed it down a bit and Doug gave the crowd a speech, a sermon of sorts, about how "It's a terrible thing to do the thing you hate for the rest of your life". More or less it was a pretty awesome motivational bit about how you should never give up on your dreams, no matter how crazy they are, no matter how many people doubt you or call you crazy, and that you have the power to make them come true. I think the thing that made the bit about music hit me so hard is that I've always found King's X to be a shining example of artistic integrity creativity over commercial success or anything fake. So hearing this from them was pretty damn inspiring. The best was yet to come, when the band led the audience in a sing-along of the chorus, letting us carry the tempo, melody, and lyrics ourselves while Doug did a totally crazy vocal improv over it, singing so loudly and powerfully he didn't even need the microphone. It was crazy. One of the coolest performances I've ever seen.
Anyway, if I can register one complaint it's that the band didn't give us their classic "Goldilox" as a first encore. Apparently since they have the crowd sing the whole song, they only do it at the better shows on the tour, and ours didn't qualify. Oh well. I still think it's a cool concept to not do it all the time, I can only hope they do it next time, and there will be a next time.
05.What Is This?
06.Lost in Germany
10.Go Tell Somebody
12.Looking For Love
13.Over My Head
15.We Were Born to Be Loved