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King's X

House Of Blues, Orlando, FL July 11, 2000

Despite drunk drivers on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, I managed to see one of the best live concerts that I have attended in ten years. My friends and I got to the venue late because of delayed business meetings and dodging the driver of a navy blue Oldsmobile Cutlass that was deeply marinated in his liquor of choice in rush hour traffic. In turn, we missed the opening band, TVT recording artists Podunk, and about the first three songs of King's X's opening set.

When we entered the House of Blues, the familiar strains of "She's Gone Away," from the new Metal Blade CD entitled Please Come Home, Mr. Bulbous, were throbbing into the atmosphere. Right from the get go, King's X snatched my attention, and I couldn't help but simply ignore my companions. It really didn't matter much, because they were pretty much drawn in as quickly as I was by the thundering rhythms coming from the stage. I swear, I never knew three skinny, little dudes like Doug Pinnick, Ty Tabor, and Jerry Gaskill could make such a huge, full, balanced sound. It's been so long since I've seen a real rock and roll band get up on a stage and just play, with no gimmicks or fancy dance moves, that it felt like having a severe addiction finally, at last, satisfied. Sheer poetry. The band then handily slipped into the beautiful "Julia," written by Pinnick, and also on the PCHMB CD.

The thing that originally drew me into the music of King's X was the harmonious and brilliant vocals. It was later that I discovered their talent as musicians of the highest order. Those soaring vocals were still firmly intact and the music was so big, that at one point during the show I could actually feel it moving up my legs and pounding away inside my belly. Music you can feel. I sucked it in as much as I could, it was an incredible feeling.

The highpoint of the show was when Pinnick led the whole venue in a sing-along to the chorus of their tune "Over My Head." If Pinnick had never made it as one of the best bassists in the world, he could have easily been sitting pretty as a music minister in some gospel music church, singing, clapping, and praisin' it mightier than the next guy. He is quite the singer, and so full of charisma and leadership that everyone was following his lead like gentle, little lambs.

I don't know if it was the music or the atmosphere the night of that concert, but I left the House Of Blues well pleased that we had made the effort to get to Orlando to see it. It was just so nice to see real musicians get up on a stage and play with no hype, attitude, or blatant sexuality shoved down my throat. That may well explain the makeup of the audience in attendance, as well. I'd venture to say that the crowd at the House Of Blues that night was 80% male, and of those 80%, most of them were musicians themselves. Serious lack of skimpily clad vixens vying for backstage passes with the tossing of bras and/or the flashing of breasts. It was a welcome change to be among people that were there for the music, and not to be seen, or to be carted backstage because of the lack of cellulite under their spandex dresses (no panties, of course!). Great crowd and a joy to be around. This is one concert no one who seriously loves music for music's sake should have missed.

If you did miss it, thank your lucky stars. Why be thankful to miss a show? Because you're gonna get your chance again. King's X has three more shows scheduled for the Florida area in September: the 26th in Fort Lauderdale at the Culture Room, the 27th in St. Petersburg at the State Theatre, and the 28th in Jacksonville at Jack Rabbit's. Mark your calendars and get those tickets bought, because this is one concert that you will thank me for telling you about one day.

The best way to sum it all up? Inspiring. What a great show.