NXNE Review: Moon King, June 13th, Horseshoe Tavern

By: Adrian J. Miller June 20th, 2013


The chattering crowd at the Moon King show was startled just as the band appeared.

There were no lights on the stage – just a shocking bang as the drummer struck the snare. With the volume on a particular mic set incredibly high, it was then that they proceeded with their sound check.

Moon King began with a song delivering a great rhythm. Whether it was the powerful bass drum kicking in my chest, I was compelled to groove along to the unintelligible melody.

On stage, Daniel Benjamin was eccentric and energized. Right off the top he thrashed a set of maracas with un-caged fury. Tossing them haphazardly behind and slyly saying, “Hello” at the abrupt end of the tune.

Maddy Wilde has a voice that drives the band’s charm – but the real gusto stems from Benjamin.  He loves the stage, parading about in the little space he had. Twirling, caressing and cowering around with the mic stand, he stole his own show.

The group charged through a grungy-guitar driven new song that was untitled and without lyrics.  During which, their second guitarist broke a string but seamlessly rejoined the set when it was replaced.

During “Crucified,” it was apparent a large portion of the audience was charged by the spectacle that is Moon King.

As the set neared a close, a real moshpit opened up, enticing Benjamin to crowd surf.  He jumped off the stage – but was propped and pushed right back. In the hustle, he dramatically stepped on the connection box and kicked around one of the work lights that illuminated the stage before stumbling to the ground. 

And as the song went on, the work light started to smoke. In what must have been an effort to stop it, Daniel Benjamin proceeded to smash it with the mic stand.

When asked why he did it later in the evening, he says to me, “Sometimes you just have let the set catch fire.” Certainly Moon King did just that. 


Be sure to follow Toronto Music Scene on Twitter @TorontoMusic and Adrian J. Miller @AdrianJNMiller

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