This performance of “Moanjam” comes from King’s X’s appearance at the 1994 version of Woodstock as part of the Dogman tour. The trio was scheduled for a non-televised slot somewhere between Blues Traveler and Sheryl Crow on the music festival’s first day, so I can only assume this footage is part of MTV’s coverage of the event due to the time codes present in the video. Based on what I have seen and the few reports of their set that I have been able to track down, King’s X literally stole the show that evening. Ty Tabor showcased chops demonstrating he could stand toe-to-toe with any of the guitar gods of the day, and Jerry Gaskill pounded the drums like a man possessed. Doug Pinnick belted out songs with that soulful voice of his while holding down the bottom end with his unique playing style and tone (even breaking out his 12-string bass for the Gretchen and Faith Hope Love-era tunes). Considering the audience numbered somewhere near 350,000, the King’s X following should have exploded on the merits of this show alone.
In addition to this fiery rendition of “Moanjam,” the boys turned in a stellar version of their live staple “Over My Head” (which later appeared on the Best of King’s X collection) and an inspired cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression.” By all accounts, King’s X’s performance at Woodstock ’94 was that of a band firing on all cylinders, proving they were a live force to be reckoned with. In uncharacteristic fashion, Pinnick worked himself into a frenzy by the end of “Moanjam”, destroying his bass, kicking over speaker cabinets, and stalking around the stage like a caged animal. The normally meek and soft-spoken Tabor even got in on the antics, tossing his guitar across the stage in a frenzy of feedback. And the crowd loved it.
I definitely wouldn’t have wanted to be King’s X’s follow-up act on that night.