Marcus King Band | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN
Free at Noon Flashback: “The Mighty Marcus King Band” brings their fiery brand of bluegrass rock to World Cafe Live
Twitter users dubbed them “The Mighty Marcus King Band” while listening to the live stream of the group’s Free At Noon show Friday at World Cafe Live.
The performance by this Greenville, South Carolina six-piece performance was characterized by soaring guitar solos, jazzy brass instrumentals, powerful percussions, and King’s raspy vocals- making mighty a more-than appropriate adjective to describe the band. At only 20 years old, King possesses the maturity of someone far beyond his years. The fifty-minute set showcased the group’s unique brand of Americana-blues rock, and the conclusion of each song was met with roaring (yes I mean roaring) applause by the audience.
For the most part, the band played powerful tracks carried by the full force of six musicians playing their instruments at full volume: this made it near impossible to speak to the person next to you, but it didn’t look like anyone in the crowd was too upset about this due to the constant stream of clapping hands and stomping feet. King refrained from announcing the name of each song they played, or interacting with the crowd beyond the occasional, “Thank you for coming today.” This could have easily been interpreted as rude on the part of King, but it was clear as the set progressed that he was too consumed with his music to focus on much else — something that struck me as a sign of his commitment to putting on the best performance possible for those that attended the show.
Despite the name of the band, the show didn’t strictly revolve around the talent of the young South Carolina-bred musician. At one point in the set, each member of the group was (literally) given the spotlight, and performed a viscous solo on his instrument of choice. The band is currently on tour with shows all over the U.S. as well as a handful overseas. Unfortunately, there are no upcoming tour dates in Philadelphia, but they do have a forthcoming self-titled LP under Fantasy Records due to be released October 7.