Saturday, June 27, 2015

King's X at Stage 48

Doug Pinnick and Ty Tabor
Vocalist/bassist Doug Pinnick (sometimes stylized as dUg) was born in Braidwood, Illinois, then at age 14 moved to Joliet, Illinois. Guitarist Ty Tabor was born in Pearl, Mississippi. Drummer Jerry Gaskill was born in Bridgeton, New Jersey. In the late 1970s, each independently gravitated to Evangel College in Springfield, Missouri, and came to know each other through their respective bands. Together they formed the Edge, which became Sneak Preview in 1983 and then King's X in 1987. The new power trio relocated to Houston, Texas, and transitioned from radio rock to a more experimental and complex songwriting style. More than 30 years later, the original band is still together, although Gaskill was temporarily sidelined by heart attacks in 2012 and 2014. King's X's 12th and most recent studio album was 2008's XV; the progressive metal band has released only live albums since XV.

King's X returned to a faithful core of fans at Stage 48 tonight. The 15-song set touched on 12 albums, ending with "Goldilox" from the band's 1988 debut. With no new songs to introduce, the set list was comparable to previous tours. King's X injected fresh dynamics to the old catalogue, as with the now 12-minute version of "Over My Head." In many ways, King's X was the perfect power trio, with each member proficient and creative with his instrument. When Pinnick sang softly and soulfully, as in "Flies and Blue Skies," Tabor matched his passion with bluesy guitar fills, and Gaskill's drums rolled and crashed appropriately. When Pinnick picked up the energy, as in "Everybody Knows a Little Bit of Something," the band accented the action. Then there were the brief but complex interludes in songs like "Go Tell Somebody" that were imaginative and innovative. King's X never achieved more than a cult following, but that small following has seen something the rest of the hard rock world should witness.

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