Photos and Words by Shana Leigh @shanaleighphoto
Marcus King at The Ritz in Raleigh, NC on February 24th, 2022
The Marcus King Band came rolling through The Ritz in Raleigh, NC with some epic surprises in tow. It was a sold-out show and the fans were packed in like sardines, rail-riding high.
Hannah Wicklund kicked off the night with an insane performance, magnetically growing her fan base with each strum of her electric guitar. Wicklund, a native of Hilton Head, South Carolina, has been playing music since she was 3 and a band leader since the age of 9. Inspired by artists like Tom Petty and Jimi Hendrix, it’s no surprise that her 2018 album Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones is packed with both soulful, raspy vocals and electric riffs. She’s a female rockstar lead, barefoot dancing and finger picking and sliding like magic. Wicklund is rising quickly and will be joining Greta Van Fleet on their Dreams in Gold tour this August.
Hannah now calls Nashville home and that also happens to be where Marcus King recorded his debut solo album, El Dorado, in 2020. El Dorado, in Spanish legend, is the mythical City of Gold. Today, that city where Marcus’ dreams come true is right here in Raleigh.
Marcus King was born in Greenville, South Carolina, and hails from a family of musical influences. His father Marvin King, who taught Marcus how to play, is a well-known blues guitar player. Marvin is still tearing it up on stage while witnessing his son’s own rise to fame. His album Made In Europe has Marcus on it, which he chalks up to why it’s selling well.
Fans sang along to The Marcus King Band throughout the evening as Marcus entranced the crowd with his soulful lyrics and smoothe style. The set had everyone singing and clapping along to the rhythm all night long.
Marcus set the tone early with his new song “Hard Working Man” saluting the 9 to 5 hard working men and women in the room, with drinks raised high. The hard workers out for the night proving that those of us who work hard certainly play harder. And Marcus was no exception. Between the fast-paced jams, Marcus also brought it in nice and slow with songs like “Beautiful Stranger,” giving the lovers some time to hold each other close.
Speaking of lovers, Marcus surprised the crowd by introducing his fiancé, Briley Hussey, bringing heron stage for a collaboration of “Proud Mary.” Marcus proposed to Briley earlier in the day right there in Raleigh at the Red Hat Amphitheater, where they first met. Hussey, from Kinston, North Carolina, is also a strong vocalist. It’s an intimate moment the crowd gets to witness as Marcus and Briley share the stage and their mutual passion for music. What better way to celebrate than a sold-out crowd in Carolina with friends, family and fans present to witness the momentous occasion.
Wrapping up the evening, Marcus gave us a little “Goodbye Carolina” and though we hate to hear the words, we sure love to hear him sing them.
So goodbye Carolina
Searched my whole life to find you
I hate to leave you but I hope you’ll know
Where I’m going I’ll be seeing you
So hold my hand as I’m leaving
Hoped my pain would be enough reason
See you on the other side of the Blue Ridge sky
Now I’m going
Hate to tell you goodbye
As the set came to a close, Marcus wasn’t quite ready to leave Carolina without another huge surprise. He brought his father, Marvin King, out on stage for the encore of the Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See.” The fans realizing full-circle what a legendary night they’ve witnessed.
Can’t you see, oh, can’t you see / What that woman, Lord / She been doin’ to me
It was an epic night with loved ones, and an amazing memory to witness of rising star Marcus King. Hailing from Greenville, but the stage his City of Gold, where he makes his dreams come true. Marcus, where you’re going, we’ll be seeing you.
Find more information here: https://marcuskingband.com