King's X at Scout Bar, 5/18/2013
When I spotted a poster advertising Saturday's King's X gig at Scout Bar a few weeks back, it was kind of a relief. The news coming out of the celebrated Houston band's camp hasn't been the greatest recently. Last year, drummer Jerry Gaskill suffered a major heart attack that stopped the group in its tracks. That led to the cancellation of their homecoming show at Warehouse Live last March.
Gaskill recovered, only to take another big punch to the gut when he lost his New Jersey home in Superstorm Sandy. Then just last month, it was announced that fans and friends were setting up a crowdfunding account to pay for front man dUg Pinnick's badly needed hernia surgery.
Longtime fans showed up at Scout Bar over the weekend to hear some beloved tunes, sure, but also to simply check in and see if the proto-grunge power trio was OK.
It's a pleasure, then, to report that King's X is alive and well. If the group is still living with the pain of the past two years' trials, none of it showed on their smiling faces Saturday. Instead, they were buoyed from start to finish by the intense love of a diehard audience that managed to completely pack out the Clear Lake club.
Right away, all eyes were on Gaskill as he mounted the drum riser. The drummer's childhood friend and producer, Ed Frost, told us last year that Jerry's heart attack had been deadly serious. Would he be the same guy up there?
Put simply, he was. From the first downbeat of set opener "Groove Machine," it was obvious that Gaskill's skills and passion for playing were undiminished by the heavy shit he's endured of late. It was a major relief for the hometown fans to see, and they responded by chanting "Jerry! Jerry!" between songs like they were attending a taping of Springer.