King's X

October 14, 2001
Cotton Club
Atlanta, GA


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  British band Moke opened this Sunday night show to a three-quarters filled Cotton Club that never grew any deeper. It took a couple of songs for the band to hit its stride, but when it did it was something to see. Dread locked lead vocalist/acoustic guitarist John Hogg led the band through a short, tight set of melodic tunes that somehow echoed both The Verve and Rage Against The Machine. “My Degeneration,” “Strange Days” and “Slide” showed off their modern pop writing chops, but the band was no one trick pony. The singer showed off some impressive “dead thumb approach” guitar work during his solo version of “Mislaid The Key” and “Liar” was an intense rocker thanks to some phenomenal syncopation between guitarist Sean Genockey and the rhythm section of Alex Evans and Charlie Morton. Moke staked its claim and left the stage before wearing out their welcome.

MOKE set list:

1. Hanging Around

2. Strange Days

3. Slide

4. My Degeneration

5. Mislaid The Key

6. My Desire

7. Liar

8. So Much Better

9. Tomorrow Never Knows


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  King’s X performed more than 20 songs to their diehard late Sunday night crowd. The third date of their tour began with a shaky version of “World Around Me” before settling in with “Dogman.” The crowd shouted along and guitarist Ty Tabor smoothly satiated the assembled music geeks with fluid quick runs and slow volume swell interludes. Surprisingly, the band steered away from almost all of their more well-known numbers this night, instead choosing obscure gems like “What Is This,” “Send A Message” and “The Big Picture.” Only “Dogman” and a final encore of “Over My Head” were known by the passive listeners in attendance. Instead, they did “Run,” an octave divided vocal take of “Smudge” and a much heavier version of “Thinking And Wondering.” Unfortunately, a blown amp sidetracked the show for a full half an hour after “Sometime.” Bassist Doug Pinnick and drummer Jerry Gaskill tried to fill the time with a question and answer session and even an a capella version of “Free Bird” after somebody made the mistake of yelling that title during Ty’s extended amp fixing detour. Honestly, the show lost most of its momentum and the pause only underscored the lack of most of the crowd favorites as people kept yelling for “Goldilox,” “Black Flag,” “It’s Love” and “Summerland” to no avail. A full five tunes from the brand new Manic Moonlight were trotted out in the place of those. The title track was a bit of a misfire. That one seems more appropriate for home headphones, but a harmony filled “False Alarm” worked nicely. “Believe” was solid and so was “On The Other Side.” The best new cut in this environment was “Vegetable.” This one just rocked. The extended ending grew a little tiresome, but the song was dead on. Unfortunately, they ignored their two best new tunes. The heavy groove of “Static” and the borderline funk of “Skeptical Winds” would’ve been better choices than “Mr. Evil” or Ty’s only lead vocal “She’s Gone Away.” In the light of the new world we inhabit since September 11, the lyrically dense ballad “Flies And Blue Skies” took on a much heavier meaning and vocalist Doug Pinnick put his soul on the line with an especially powerful delivery. After a typically smoking closing “We Were Born To Be Loved,” the band returned to the surprise of even their crew who had begun tearing down. With an explanation that they hadn’t planned on doing this on the current tour, but that they owed us for being so patient during their technical problems, the band launched into an audience participation heavy “Over My Head.” During the middle section,  Pinnick leaned over the audience and participated in an unamplified church witnessing rock and roll revival as the guitarist and drummer smiled and awaited their cue. King’s X may not have satisfied every fan who came to see them with their eclectic and hit-ignoring set list, but some of us really appreciated hearing the more interesting corners of their catalog and can’t wait to see where they lead us next.

To read my full length interview with Ty about the band, side projects, their history, future and the state of the world, click here.

To see pictures and the set list from the 1-31-02 King's X show in Athens, GA, click here.

Chris McKay/


KING'S X Set List (10-14-01):

1. World Around Me

2. Dogman

3. What Is This?

4. Flies And Blue Skies

5. Believe

6. Manic Moonlight

7. Looking For Love

8. Run

9. Marshmellow Field

10. She's Gone Away

11. Smudge

12. Sometime

13. Walter Bela Farkas/Free Bird(snippet)

14. Mr. Evil

15. Send A Message

16. Thinking And Wondering

17. The Other Side

18. The Big Picture

19. False Alarm

20. Vegetable

21. We Were Born To Be Loved


22. Over My Head