The Marcus King Band were scheduled to play the Uline Warehouse stage at Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival, during the evening on the first day of the 11-day fest. The weather that day, however, had other plans. After a couple of rounds of heavy rain leading up to their set time, it finally cleared and the band sound checked a song at the time they were supposed to perform.
Some of the fans who had been patiently waiting for this psychedelic southern rock blues band from South Carolina were wearing rain ponchos or holding umbrellas. Others, I’m sure, were praying to the rain gods, that the still looming bad weather would hold off just long enough for the band to get through their set. Regardless, the small but mighty group were prepared and willing to weather any storm. Truth was, it appeared not even a thunderstorm, with threat of lightning, was going to keep these people away.
Once the 6-piece band officially took to the stage, the crowd reacted in joyous excitement. All during the set, Marcus King played with a very certain confidence and there was a welcoming feeling, for those willing to listen, into his world of music. The addition of organ, played by Matt Jennings, and the two-man horn section (Justin Johnson-trumpet, Dean Mitchell-saxophone) brought an enormous sound to the music being performed on stage. All night, the band’s performance was clean and bassist Stephen Campbell played with a funkiness that fit perfectly into the driving groove from drummer Jack Ryan.
Unfortunately, a 25-minute set was all anyone was getting as a severe downpour, with high winds, came down unexpectedly while the band were mid-song. Once the song ended, it became a mad scramble as the band quickly tried to cover up or move equipment out of the path of the blowing rain as fans ran for cover. Hopefully The Marcus King Band will make their way back to the Milwaukee area sooner than later to give people a chance at another listen of their soulful sounding, funky blues tunes that make you want to move and groove. The Marcus King Band definitely has the makings to become a band with a longevity that would rival all the great bands people know and love today.
Click on a photo below to view full size.