King's X / Charlotte, NC / 10-01-2004

King’s X has constantly been one of those bands that have flown under the radar. They’ve influenced countless bands that have achieved massive success. However, they’ve never really achieved the commercial success that they deserve. After signing to Metal Blade records in 1998, the band has been on what seems like a never ending tour. It’s good to see that even after all that touring, they still love to play together.

The band stopped in at Amos’ Southend in Charlotte for two hours of rock. If there’s one thing that constant touring has done for them, it’s made them one hell of a tight rock band. They played off of each other while smiling and joking around. For this go ‘round, the band dusted off tracks like “I Can’t Help It,” “Mr. Wilson,” and a killer version of “Visions” that had the frenzied crowd rocking out like never before. In addition, they performed several songs that will be appearing on their next studio album due in April. Among them was the Ear Candy outtake, “Freedom,” which has been all over the internet for years. Thankfully, there were no equipment problems like the last few times I’ve seen the band. Those problems always sap all the energy from the shows. Luckily, that was not the case this time.

Lead singer/bassist Doug Pinnick was smiling and grooving all over the place when not laying down the soulful vocals. He also played up to the crowd, especially the little girl of about 10 that was in the front row. He then commented about how much he “loves to see kids in the crowd.” The normally quiet guitar hero Ty Tabor was more vocal at this show than any other I’ve seen. He sang a good chunk of songs and even told the crowd about the live album they’re releasing in a couple of weeks. Any time he played a solo, the crowd would erupt into cheers for the volume swelling guitarist. Drummer Jerry Gaskill pounded the kit like no one else. His spastic style is definitely a site to watch! Even while singing backing vocals, he has a pained expression that makes you wonder what zone this guy is in.

After the always amazing false endings of “We Were Born to Be Loved,” the band left the stage only to return a few moments later for the ecstatic crowd. For encores, the band played “Summerland” and a stripped down slinky version of “Over My Head” that found Pinnick standing on the road cases in front of the stage leading what seemed like a church revival. Following the song, the road crew came out and started taking the stage down but the crowd wouldn’t have it. To the surprise of everyone, including the crew, the band played another encore. Pinnick told the crowd that they were going to play “the song that everyone has requested for the last 10 years.” That song was “Goldilox,” and the crowd exploded again. After that, he told the masses that they would be hanging out after the show. It’s always cool when a band takes the time afterwards to meet and greet the crowd. They signed autographs for anyone that wanted and took pictures with everyone who asked. The band was in good spirits and was joking around with the crowd. Pinnick even gave someone a copy of their last album, Black Like Sunday. Classy guys, who happen to put on a great rock show.

-Benji McKay