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Ghost King promotes “Toad Jam” at OWL

Photos by Jessica Gurewitz

Walking into Our Wicked Lady on a chilly Monday night, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew three bands were playing but having only seen one of the groups play before, I was ready to experience something new, something to take the mundanity out of my painfully ordinary day, something to give me inspiring hope to numb the ever-present sense of dread which comes with human existence.

One of those new bands (or at least new to me) was Marinara, who kicked off the night with some thoughtful rock, bordering on a pop punk sound. The four-piece knew how to get their crowd moving and were not afraid the let the “rock” out.

Sandwiched in between the other two bands on the bill, Deaf Poets took the stage around 9 o’clock. Having seen their set a few times, I knew the duo was heavy, but this being their last show of the year, Deaf Poets really took their energy to a new level, which ended the set with the drummer, Nico Espinosa, propelling himself through his drum set, nearly face planting onto the hardwood floor. It left me in a brief state of confusion – how did that happen? Did someone push him? Did I miss something? I asked him after the show, and even though I got an answer, I still don’t understand. I’ll leave that as a mystery.

Closing out the night was Ghost King, a band whose name I’ve seen around town for a longtime, but had never been able to witness, and this was a good time to see them, as they were promoting the release of their latest single “Toad Jam,” a fast-paced, sludgy rocker worthy of the crowd sing along which soon pursued when the band launched into the song.

Although I’ve seen the name, I didn’t have a face to put on Ghost King until now. Carter, who helms lead vocals and guitar, is certainly a true frontperson. Unafraid to interact with the crowd, Carter often went back-and-forth with bystanders, pointing out who he recognized and who had the best shirt in the crowd (which happened to be a throw-back Mike Piazza jersey, what fun!). Ghost King knows how to put on a show and they clearly have dedicated fans who aren’t shy to express their love for the group.

Other than the new single, Ghost King also debuted a new lineup, which took me by surprise, as I would have thought the band was already playing together for at least a few gigs. They’re total pros I suppose.

By the end of the night, my “human dread” had worn off, at least temporarily. I saw three bands give it everything they got, which can break through to anyone who has anything resembling a soul. Good vibes were spread, and new faces were brought together. That’s the power of music – that’s why we all do this. Right?











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