In the online concert universe, the experience of “Four of a Kind” proves to be one of its kind.
For fans of rock and roll today, Marcus King’s music has been impossible to ignore. The 24-year-old prodigy from Greenville, South Carolina has written songs with maturity well beyond his years since he began playing professionally at age 11. As he continued to develop his talents, he formed The Marcus King Band as a teenager in 2013. After three albums with his band so far, and his recent solo release “El Dorado” earlier this year, King has cemented himself as one of the most essential voices in the genre today. His swaggering, bluesy vocal delivery and unparalleled skill on guitar harkens back to the music of legends like Waylon Jennings and the music of Muscle Shoals, revitalized for the modern day. Boasting collaborations with artists such as Dan Auerbach and praise from the greats like Eric Clapton, Marcus King has covered ground in his early years that very few people have over the course of a lifetime. All this said, he’s just getting started.
Following the release of “El Dorado” on January 17th, a number of tours were planned to celebrate the band’s new music. After a series of headlining shows in the U.S. and Europe in early 2020, they were set to support Chris Stapleton, The Black Keys, and numerous festivals as the year progressed. With the onset of COVID-19, however, it simply wasn’t safe to do so. After performing well over 100 shows in 2019, it’s no surprise that they refused to settle. Numerous livestreams were held from March onwards, leading up to the “Four of a Kind” livestream series announcement.
Each Monday from July 13th through August 3rd, the Marcus King Band performs live from Nashville, showcasing their new music, a pair of shows with guests, and concluding with a live cover of The Last Waltz. With all proceeds going to the Recording Academy’s “MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund,” the impact of each event goes beyond the fans tuning in. This selfless act gives fans the opportunity to be a part of something special, while simultaneously supporting the industry so many of us count on during these uncertain times.
Upon joining the stream, fans are able to purchase merchandise crafted specially for the show at the “merch table” located beneath the video window. Vintage styled t-shirts and a poster for the event fit the style of the band perfectly, and those looking for more have the opportunity to participate in an ongoing auction for some especially classy music gear signed by the man himself.
Rather than holding the performance over webcam as many other artists have to great success, King’s first show brought a full-scale concert production to the digital airwaves. King drove into the performance space in a 1967 Cadillac El Dorado, likely the same one that’s appeared across his social media accounts for months. After he got out of the car, he picked up his guitar, and the show began.
Opening with “One Day She’s Here,” the night began in full swing. With an organist, pianist, horn section, bass, drums, and background vocalists to support his guitar sorcery, King created a full concert experience with cohesion that’s only possible when all band members share the same stage.
Their performance chemistry was apparent from the get go, with each member looking to one another to introduce solos and flow throughout the track. At the center of it all stood King, whose instinctual guitar-work and visible passion launched the energy into the stratosphere. The number of times he actually looked own at his guitar to see what he was doing could be counted on one hand. Instead, his flourishes and improvisation simply flowed out of him, with passion and enjoyment radiating across every note he struck.
“I’m getting all emotional, man,” King said after finishing a cover of “Sweet Little Angel” by his hero BB King. “Feels good just to play music with these guys again.”
Additional cuts from “El Dorado” were soon to follow, and the rawness of tracks like “Love Song” and “Wildflowers and Wine” were bolstered in the context of a live setting. Shifting lights and fog that filled the stage made the experience even more cinematic, lending each song a unique atmosphere as the set progressed. Camera angles swept across the band throughout the night, highlighting the technicality of each instrument’s performance up close.
One to go
At this time, the yearning for live music to return couldn’t be greater. At-home performances over webcam provide a degree of intimacy never before seen in the music industry, and their value can’t be overstated. Nevertheless, as far as bringing fans an all-encompassing rock concert experience in the comfort of their homes, Marcus King has set the standard. With the final performance still on the cards, you would be doing yourself a disservice to not attend. King is faithfully bringing the sound of southern rock to a new generation of listeners, and the first showcase of his “Four of a Kind” series is a phenomenal continuation of just that.
Get tickets and on demand access to all Four Of A Kind shows at marcuskingofficial.com, powered by Single.