King Diamond's Tucson
fans couldn't have been more bummed about the metal singer's last minute Rialto show cancellation. And what happens when they trickle into the District where Tucson's Black Medicine and Baltimore's Outer Spaces—neither of which likely hold any appeal for Mr. Diamond's devotees—are performing? The King Diamond Uncertainty Principle. Below are my observational notes:
10:02 p.m. Black Medicine setting up. KD fan despairingly says to strange young woman at bar, "Look baby, King fucking Diamond just canceled so I'll just have to talk to you later." Young woman innocently asks me, "What's a King Diamond?"
10:16 p.m. Black Medicine begins 40-minute set. Rootsy combination of White Stripes and Black Crowes. Another king diamond fan clutches beer, walks directly to the stage and, confused, stares menacingly.
10:35 p.m. After Black Medicine has played songs similar to "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" and "Jealous Guy," half-hearted head banging has become full devil horn-throwing. The King's disciples are pleased.
11:15 p.m. Outer Spaces takes the stage. They have a keyboard player and no bassist. I spot a despondent group of KD fans staring down into their drinks while seated at the bar.
11:23 p.m. Outer Spaces rocks, but in a semi-melancholic, reflective manner. During a quiet passage, guy who told woman he'd "talk to her later" audibly groans.
11:27 p.m. They play a particularly affecting song, driven by nodding, tom-heavy rhythms and outstanding singing. Of the two KD fans still remaining, one cheers as a stray dreadlocked Bonnaroo guy next to me completely loses his shit as the song climaxes.
11:34 p.m. This band is great. On his way out, the last KD apostle compares them favorably to a Swedish death metal band, downs a tall can of PBR and says to no one in particular, "I'm fucking out of here!" His loss. Over a meditative electric piano line, singer Cara Beth Santalino hits the first of several peaks in Outer Spaces' set. .
11:39 p.m. Original "hey baby...I'll talk to you later" gentleman returns with friends for a round of shots and a toast to "the fucking King." Surrounding young ladies unimpressed. It's getting harder to pay attention to these dudes because I'm enjoying this band so much. (Postscript: Bonnaroo hippie is, it turns out, a KD fan.)
11:48 p.m. As Outer Spaces finishes up, I overhear the now-huddling KD group exclaim, "Fuck. I guess he's real sick. Bummer." What?
—Joshua Levine, firstname.lastname@example.org