One act in his current repertoire is opener Sucré, the electronic pop project he does with wife Stacy King, a singer-keyboardist whom many may know better by her maiden name (DuPree) and most certainly by her former band (Eisley).
In mood and palette, this is a much more modern setting than we’re used to hearing her. But the contrast of her aerial singing and Darren’s charged rhythms – as well as the onstage accompaniment of a violinist – works with edge and effect.
In the headlining spot was DK the Drummer, King’s solo live percussion remix of the party DJ performance. More than just novel, it’s an exercise in sensation. He sits among an entire drum rig set up on its own miniature stage situated in the middle of the audience dressed in a jacket of gold tinsel fringe and a disco ball hat. Even with all that pomp and dazzle, though, the indisputable star of the proceedings is his playing.
First, foremost and final, King is a drummer par excellence. Everything he does is refracted through that lens. And when he’s on stage, no matter the project, his rhythmic signature is the pulse and locomotive of everything around it. He’s a machine that’s as much style as it is force.
Set his vigor and pop to a continuous mix of jams and it’s like a live mashup. Spanning stuff like OutKast, Big Freedia, LCD Soundsystem, Odesza and Jay-Z, it was a set built to move ass. And personally certifying the dance-floor intent, King even jumped down onto the floor himself to shake it with the crowd. Dude is a party in a box.
But making this a one-of-a-kind moment was when the touring artist brought out two of Orlando’s best on stage: producer DiViNCi and MC Swamburger. And in a serious stroke of respect to the Solillaquists of Sound members, DK banged it out to one of their songs, the adrenaline drive of “New Sheriff in Town.”