TKE to host St. Jude Benefit Concert with indie rock band Kingsfoil


Indie rock band Kingsfoil, which consists of frontman Jordan Davis, Tristan Martin, Tim Warren and Frankie Muniz, will perform at the Kent Stage Thursday for TKE’s second annual St. Jude Benefit Concert. Photo by Todd Erickson.

Natalie Moses

Kingsfoil is a fictional plant from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. It has nothing to do with music, but 5 years ago Jordan Davis and Tristan Martin of central Pennsylvania thought it had a ring to it. Enough to use the name for their indie rock band.

“We’re not ‘Lord of the Rings’ freaks or anything,” Davis said. “We just liked the way it sounded.” And that is how Kingsfoil was born.

On Thursday, Kingsfoil will join the lineup for Tau Kappa Epsilon’s second annual Concert for St. Jude Research Hospital at 8 p.m. at the Kent Stage. Opening acts include Kent State student bands Mount Ratz, The Hive Robbers and Cleveland rap artist Zup. Tickets cost $5 for those more than 21 years old and and $8 for those less than 21 years old. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Davis, the band’s lead vocalist, and Martin, on guitar and keys, grew up playing music together. Along with bassist Tim Warren and drummer Joe Cipollini, the band released their first album “Bear in the Attic” in 2007. This past spring, the band was auditioning for a new drummer when a certain child star caught wind of the opening. Frankie Muniz, the star of the hit TV series “Malcolm in the Middle” and the movies “My Dog Skip” and “Big Fat Liar,” was a Kingsfoil fan at the time and played in a band under the same management.

“They had broken up … he auditioned, and that was that,” Davis said.

Rather than categorizing their music, the band places emphasis on the song. Davis said they really focus on a song that sounds good acoustically and “people can dig it by itself,” but also sounds great with the full band.

“We’re all about having a good, solid song,” Davis said. Kingsfoil’s lyrics are inspired mostly by relationships, family, and as Davis called it, “romantic kind of stuff.”

Kingsfoil has opened for big names like Third Eye Blind and Passion Pit. They have also done benefit concerts and plenty of college shows. Davis said that the college crowd has been really receptive and really “digs” their shows so far. They are especially excited to come to Kent to support TKE and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Blake Ianni, junior digital sciences major and philanthropy chair for TKE, explained that St. Jude is the fraternity’s national philanthropy because the founder and late comedian Danny Thomas was also a part of TKE’s brotherhood. Last year, Ianni researched the foundation heavily when planning the first TKE Annual Concert for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“It’s genuinely an amazing cause that we believe in supporting. Danny’s story alone is inspirational,” he said.

During the summer, Ianni stumbled upon a link saying Frankie Muniz joined a band called Kingsfoil. Out of pure curiosity, he followed it and fell in love with the music. On a whim, he decided to reach out to and see if the band would be interested in doing a benefit concert. Kingsfoil was enthusiastic about the show, and from there, things just fell into place.

“I think everyone will like it because it’s not too harsh, it’s very melodic,” he said.

Contact Natalie Moses at [email protected].