On Saturday the 31st of July 2010 I went to the 9:30 Club for my second metal concert of the weekend. While I went to the Black Cat the night before to check out a few touring black metal bands (you read that review here) this concert was not very similar at all, for several reasons. There were three local bands playing, though I only saw the headliner, King Giant. That’s right, a local metal act was headlining the 9:30 Club, a rare event indeed. These guys are a sort of southern sounding sludge band, I guess. It’s hard to explain their sound perfectly, though I could easily see them opening a tour with bands like Baroness or Down.
Before I even stepped into the venue you could see a row of motorcycles outside, as well as a very strong police presence. I’m not sure if there was a problem there before I arrived, but it was a bit offsetting. Once inside I saw there was a pretty good turn out for a show of local acts. The place wasn’t full by any means, the upper level had only a handful of people, but the floor level was mostly full. I got there about 10 minutes before the show started and easily walked right up to the front of the stage. I’d asked what the camera policy for the night was at the door and they said there wasn’t one, video and pics were all ok. Perfect! I ended up getting what I’d call my best pictures ever at the 9:30 Club. This was a good thing as these guys were very memorable and fun to watch on stage. I can’t remember the last time I saw a band live that had members wearing cowboy hats, but it was a vastly different audience than had been at the Black Cat the night before! They didn’t have much else on stage besides their instruments and amps, tho they did have a bottle of Jack up there as well as some rather randomly placed taxidermy of small woodland creatures. The band’s lead singer, Dave Hammerly, was very engaging on the stage, throwing his hands up in the air, pumping his fists, occasionally headbanging a bit and just generally walking around on the stage like he owned the place. He did a great job of keeping the audience engaged between songs. For example, this concert was on the birthday of their bass player, Floyd Walters, and at one point in the set they poured him a shot on stage and instructed everyone to take a birthday toast with him. Dave even went so far as to apologize to the women and children in attendance before playing the song Mississippi River. This song was the song I had wanted to see them play the most live, and I certainly wasn’t the only one as it got a great reaction from the audience, to which Dave quipped that it was funny how the songs about killing people get the best responses. But this is a band that has quite a few good songs, which is really saying something considering they only have one full length album out. Their music isn’t super complex, but it’s very well polished, especially for a local act, both in the studio and live. The lyrics tend to be very dark and sometimes quite personal, often dealing with personal and inner struggles. I enjoyed the entire set though the songs Burning Regrets and Solace, as well as the above mentioned Mississippi River, really stood out to me in the live setting.
I really didn’t find a single song they played all night to be boring at all, it was really entertaining the entire way through and I could see these guys getting noticed outside of the area. They’ve got some music for download at this location (some is free, some you have to pay for) if you’d like to check them out. The pictures I shot of King Giant that night can be seen here, and below I’ve posted the videos I shot. The volume of the vocals isn’t great on the ones I shot close to the stage, though the Mississippi River song has much better sound since I shot it from the upper level. Unfortunately it has the worst visuals as the lighting didn’t show up as well up there. After all this if you want to see these guys play live (and you really should), you’ve got a great chance coming up on Friday 20 August 2010. King Giant is one of the bands playing at the State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia for their first ever metal night. I’ve got more info on that, including how to buy tickets, posted here. It should be a great night of metal, and if it’s half as good of a show as this was, it’ll be worth the price of admission. Now here’s the videos, enjoy!