Performing live at the Pearl Street Ballroom in Northampton MA on January 26 2019

Max Creek review by LMNR, The Kings review by Jimm O’D

The Kings playing at Pearl Street is a pretty exciting event here in my little corner of the cosmos. The Kings are one of the hardest working bands in area, extending from the Hartford-Springfield corridor to North of what one feller calls “the tofu curtain” (I think he means about Mount Tom or so, where the vibe shifts as one traverses the Mass Hamptons and crosses over and back a few times along the mighty Connecticut River).

Boundary-less genre-hopping is the order of the day for the Kings, as no two songs are ever the same. This band is apt to pull out any of probably a couple-hundred different songs, with no small percentage of them being originals written by one or another of the five members.

Tonight’s treat was a solid hour of all originals. Some of these were newer compositions, all were greeted with a whole lotta love; and their known and loved album tracks, especially, raised a ruckus of recognition and a chorus of cheers. Keyboarist Tom Coburn and singer Melissa Carreira have originals, and both got extended treatments, smoothly and sexily building to bolero-esque climaxes; in one case, ever-so-almost-alarmingly edging to a seeming brink of dissolution before culminating in a crescendo that broke with sweat and a certain sense of relief.

The Kings were, truthfully, not the headliners here at Pearl Street tonight. They were kicking it off for Max Creek. These January appearances have become a staple the last few years, and the crowd was a bit bigger than in the past. The changing vibe of the Pearl Street Ballroom, with more relaxed entrance standards and a newer in and out policy have catered directly to the enjoyment of these shows for fans. Friends and strangers stood shoulder to should from the pit to the far reaches of the ballroom, and the vibe was very high on this night.

This show featured the new SG guitar being played by Scott Murawski, the second night that he displayed his latest instrument. But it felt as if this night belonged to Mark Mercier, as he sang the openers to both sets and an extended and pensive version in the second set of Katie Mae.

The show in general was very interesting in that it didn’t feature many of what you might consider Creek’s hits, seemingly more focused on rare treats like the second set Murawski song, Carrie. More common Creek songs of late like Loving You, You Let Me Down Again, and Blood Red Roses took on the feel of their hits as they became set features.

Sadly the recording does not include the encore, the Steppenwolf classic Magic Carpet Ride ushered the happy crowd into the night. Our travels took us a good one hour back into the woods accounting for our slightly early departure, though we and the crowd were surely happy with this night of stellar jams from the Kings to the kings of New England jam, Max Creek.

Set List as posted at Max Creek Recordings

Saturday, Jan 26, 2018 Pearl Street Ballroom

2nd show Scott plays the SG

Set I 1012pm
Dont Do It, Jones* > You Dont Know, Border Song, Field^ > Slow Down 1115pm

Set II 1153pm
See It My Way > Carrie, Blood Red Roses > Loving You (is Sweeter Than Ever), Katie Mae > Only One > You Let Me Down Again 115am

E: 120am Magic Carpet Ride 126am

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