Stage 48 welcomed King's X to New York City on Saturday, November 19, 2016. Despite cold heavy rain, King's X fans lined up outside by the venue before doors. Any fan of rock music in the 80's and on, know that King's X were grunge before grunge was a thing. Some would call them the undeclared forefathers of grunge. After a handful of shows during Spring and Summer 2016 and in Cozumel, Mexico after, King's X returned the U.S. for more tour dates beginning in Florida on November 10th through December 10th.
Honolulu Rock/Blues quartet Kings of Spade opened the show for King's X under cascading red, orange, and blue lighting during their set. Kings of Spade grooved the audience into a bluesy swing that would later carry the vibe into the hard rocking "Groove Machine", the opening song for King's X. Drummer Jerry Gaskill entered the stage to repetitive bellowing chants of "Jerry". Gaskill sat behind the drum kit with a broad smile, opening his arms out to the cheering crowd, thanking fans for the warm welcome. Front man Doug Pinnick and guitarist Ty Tabor joined Gaskill on stage with their timeless appreciation for every fan in the room.
King's X couldn't have brought a better atmosphere to Stage 48 that evening, with bright psychedelic patterns bouncing of the venue's LED screen towering behind them setting the pace to each song. King's X move the floor beneath you with Tabor's Drop-D dark melodic chord voicings during "Vegetable" and many others like it. Jerry Gaskill crashes and chimes away on cymbals towards the end of the song, with amused approval from an onlooking Tabor who wore his sunglasses the entire set. The audience shouted wildly as "Vegetable" tapered off with thumping bass by Pinnick. One of the best moments to look out for during a King's X concert is Pinnick getting into the groove and grunge as he steps away from the mic and jams with full emotion, before returning to the mic with his raspy and soul inspired vocal melodies. Pinnick's vocals have been a key and unique factor in King's X authentic and original sound. "Run", the fifth track on the setlist went all out with strobe lights to heavy rhythms on guitar.
For nearly six and half minutes, King's X performed an instrumental to "Cigarettes" as fans sang vigorously to the lyrics of the song. Doug Pinnick's face lit up every time with gratitude as fans shouted, "Hey", holding the note as the song calls for. Ty Tabor's high guitar bend at the end of the song caused an eruption of applause. King's X made the show about their fans and love nothing more than having a "jam session" during their concerts with them. After their final song "We Were Born to Be Loved", fans cheered for an encore and received a generous one with hits such as "Lost in Germany", "Dogman", "Goldilox", and "Pillow". Anyone who has not listened to music by King's X, or have never seen them live would certainly have been able to understand how revolutionary they became in combining Grunge, Progressive Rock, and Blues inspired Alternative Metal for three and a half decades. It was during "Goldilox" that you could witness the band's true appreciation for their fans as Doug places his hand over his heart, overwhelmed by dedicated King's X fans singing the opening lyrics to the song.
Full King's X setlist at Stage 48 included, "Groove Machine", "The World Around Me", "Flies and Blue Skies", "Vegetable", "Run", "Looking for Love", "Pray", "Black Flag", "Cigarettes", "Summerland", "Over My Head", and "We Were Born to Be Loved". The encore performance included tracks, "Lost in Germany", "Dogman", "Goldilox", and "Pillow". For future updates and tour news, check out King's X on Facebook and official website here.
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