Concert Reviews

Concert Review: KING 810 at Trees – Dallas

Why King 810 is One of the Most Important and Relevant Bands of the 21st Century


TREES | DALLAS, TX | MAY 3, 2018

KING 810 is a hardcore metal band. If you call yourself a fan of hardcore metal and haven’t heard of this band, you’ve been very naughty and unobservant since 2007. Now, go stand in the corner and feel the shame. FEEL IT! Nah, I’m just kidding. Just do me a favor and go listen to them and promise me to expand your reach and make it a point to check out new bands. They’re out there, they’re good, and #trust – you wanna know the newest bands because new bands are thrown out to us like raw, slabs of meat to hungry tigers every day. And let’s be honest, there’s a lot of fluffer bands out there. It’s a real treat though when you get the real thing.

King 810Hailing from Flint, Michigan, the deficit that KING 810 (and all of the inhabitants of Flint for that matter) is up against from the jump is staggering. Reading up on the perils of Flint, I’m surprised this part of the country hasn’t been sucked down to the 4th layer of hell. I say this not just due to recent events, but since the 1920’s this area of Michigan hasn’t had the greatest of luck or the best in elected officials; generally speaking. Look, I’m not a history buff nor do I know specifics. I’m just giving you the nudge to find out for yourself what has happened in this part of the country.

You’re probably not going to hear KING 810 on the radio, but you may hear them from inside of cars that are rolling up to clubs and venues across the US. Notorious for their frightening lyrics, rattling baselines, jarring guitars, and pounding percussion that coupled with David Gunn’s vocal delivery could revive the dead.

KING 810 is one of the most important and relevant bands of the 21st Century for the following three reasons:

  • The music of KING 810 is a historical map or code within the music created by the band and the written word of. Think about the occurrences that have happened that have rolled down through the DNA of the people that have lived there. The dark poetry that DAVID conjures up along with the music to accompany those words, is like a path through the past. If you listen close enough, you’ll hear it too. The music KING 810 creates must be dark, foreboding, and scary because of what happens on the other side that lends way to the light, so to speak. This band doesn’t have the Cinderella story of getting out of Flint unscathed, to live happily ever after. This is a story about a band that stays; working to tell their stories, their experiences now that also echo the past.

“It’s the motherfuckin boogeyman

Say seven ‘Hail Marys’ cuz I’m back again

Divine intervention can’t stop this from happenin

When the knives and guns come out and “Oh I’m back at that again”


  • A band that stands for something difficult or painstaking is important. That’s not to say that other bands that haven’t had the difficulties that KING 810 have experienced and witnessed aren’t important. When you, despite the diversity and the taboo sentiments and have either had a come to Jesus with yourself or are on your way to becoming self-aware, and aren’t afraid to tell the world, you are important and relevant. At their show in Dallas at the beginning of May, I spoke to several KING 810 fans, asking them what they liked about the band. Every one of those motherfuckers said it was that the band was real and that there was so much honesty in the music is why they listen. I totally can see where this connection exists between band and fan. For me, there is so much honesty in the music, it is goddam terrifying. BOOGEYMAN is one of the most frightening songs I’ve ever heard and seen performed for that matter and I believe it’s scary because I have them too, these boogeymen. The performance of the entire set is scary AF. DAVID darts in and out of the lights that are like landing gear on a space station, seeking out the marker to land the ship. It is loud AF too; not going to lie – I thought my ears were bleeding after their set.
  • Not apologizing for who you are and what you’ve been in the past is important. It shows an actual or believable human is on stage performing in front of you. It is important and relevant because when a person stops apologizing or thinking that they’re actions, thoughts, ideas, feelings, and their very being is so bad, they can start being human again or maybe even for the first time. I get this from DAVID, that he is aware of who he is, and makes no qualms to be anything else. I wish that more people felt that an apology didn’t have to be issued with every balking noise of someone that thought differently than they did. That “sorry” word or the “I’m sorry” phrase has been used so much that we’ve started believing that we are sorry, bad, wrong, flawed. And we are just who we are; by design, by environment, and choices. The music of KING 810 makes no apologies on or off stage. ALPHA AND THE OMEGA was another standout song about a third of the way into their set. The snarl of the chorus bounced off every wall, every person, and surface in the room and it was almost like it mushroomed out from the ceiling in a burst of invisible energy. Watching David and the band perform, hearing the music pound into the audience’s head like the scene where the anvil is dropped on the Roadrunner by the coyote on a loop when mixed with what I am feeling – shit Y’all, there is nothing more frightening than that. Thankfully, once these feelings or baby demons have been exorcised they’re out and gone. Once that people see and experience this, well, it is important. And relevant.

These are the reasons that KING 810 are one of the most important and relevant rock bands now, if not ever. And if you don’t believe me check out the band on tour with EMMURE the remainder of May. And keep a look out for the link to the article I’m writing called “The F Word” where I talk one on one with DAVID as we define a few socially charged issues that are currently creating sparks and controversy and how he feels about them. You’re not going to want to miss it!

Til Next Time – MRML


If you think that the title of this article is outlandish, or that I’m stretching the truth for the sake of the band, it isn’t. But it’s not my duty to convince you either. I mean, after all, you’re entitled to think what you want, just as I, right? Do me a favor though, and read up on Flint, Michigan while listening or reading the lyrics of KING 810. Then, you might see things a little differently. I sure did.

All photographs © Cherri Bird / S. Birk Fowler 


Cherri Bird

Independent and selective rock journalist & wordsmith, focused on strengthening the connections between a fan and the bands they follow through the words she writes. Specializing in interviews, music & show reviews, and candid photography; Cherri takes what she discovers and pounds the social media pavement to fuse the energy that music brings us with the bands that create it.

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