THE CENTURY BAR 3.22.19
THE STONE EYE. ADDER. KINGSNAKE. DOUBLE PLANET
Kingsnake at the Century, in Philadelphia
Cody Perryman, the front man of Stoned Naked, and I, are bringing a Doom and Stoner Rock show to 106.6 The Blast, on none other than 420, titled “The Doom Saloon.”
Having seen them the week before, and knowing they would be one of the many bands on Maryland’s own “Doom Fest” I hit up Kingsnake for an interview, and some special features for our debut show. Lately, I have been spinning their music like crazy. The guys asked if I would be coming to their show on Friday. To my surprise, or my neglect, I had not heard about the show. Generally, I have not travelled to Philadelphia very often. To see Kingsnake, and especially to be invited by Kingsnake, “I’m your Huckleberry”. I just needed a driver, for those who know me also know I am no good, no good at all, in city traffic. However, I had to find a way. My husband, Greg, aka Little Bob, and we will get to that later, took the day off and drove me.
It was a wild and interesting trip flying down the interstate to Philadelphia; however it was a beautiful night, with the view into the city and all the lights. The Century is a corner bar on S 29th Street, with a small yellow sign, almost possible to miss. Luckily we found it, after a few rides around the block, we secured parking.
We walked inside the bar, to the right was the bar, and a few tables to the left. It was a very small venue, and I think for a moment everyone looked at us like they were unsure if we walked into the right bar. From what I know of Philadelphia everyone is close knit. For a show like this which ultimately spread mostly by word of mouth, I am fairly sure everyone else knew each other. We went up to the bar, and got a drink, and made ourselves at home. Looking around this venue, it was very eclectic, photos show it best. I liked it; it was different from larger venues I had been too. The bands used bar stools, and tables to prop their merch. It was a bit punk rock, a bit DIY.
Each of the bands played in the back area on the floor, as there was no stage. However no more of an intimate setting to enjoy a band you love, as it feels like they are playing just for you.
Up first was The Stone Eye, a local Philadelphia band, who is currently unsigned. The Stone Eye was high energy, and all the way Rock N’ Roll delivering a fuzz infused sound that sat somewhere between Grunge and Doom. This young band rocked the house, and got the night going; dancing, head banging, and moving right within the crowd. You can check out the Stone Eye on http://thestonedeyebandcamp.com.
Then it was time for Southern New Jersey’s ADDER to fire up the crowd. ADDER had a great following for such a small venue, and people crowded in to see this band. ADDER is a mix of Thrash Metal, Hard Rock, and Blues, which is riffy and catchy as hell. Vocalist Ron Marchini can really belt it out, and I was impressed with his vocal range. ADDER, though unsigned, has a polished sound which should ultimately bring them great success. You can check out ADDER at http://adder1.bandcamp.com
Then it was time for Kingsnake to take the stage. Having seen them the week before at Wilmington’s Bar XIII, on a much larger stage, I thought I knew what to expect. However, I did not literally expect Kingsnake to bring the house down. Kingsnake played much of the songs off their album; “Resonance” released in 2016, adding new song, “The Plow” to the mix. Favorites for me were “Diary of a Bad Man” (Bill’s vocals are so cool here, like a darker version of Clutch’s Neil Fallon), “Skeletons”, and “The Phoenix”. At one point front man Bill Jenkins, leans over to guitarist Chris Wojcik and they both say, “ready” and begin to tear into a guitar solo, which actually rumbles the place; resulting in items falling off the wall. Drum sticks, tons of them; which you can see in photos were on the wall to the left of Chris, and immediately began falling. You can even see Chris looking that way as they go falling, in one of my photos below. Matt Farnan was on fire on the drums, all night, bringing that heavy beat to the band. While bassist Matt Kahn brought the groove to their sound. I really love Kingsnake’s sound. They know how to bring it, with their mix of Doom, Hard Rock, and Groove Metal; taking inspiration from bands like Black Sabbath to Clutch, but with a sound all their own, these guys kick ass pure and simple. I can’t wait to check these guys out, on The Maryland “Doom Fest”. They will be playing on 6/21/19. Check out Kingsnake at www.kingsnakephilly.com
Then Double Planet the heaviest hitter of the night took the “stage”. I chatted with vocalist Mike, before he took the stage. He expressed his appreciation that I would take the time to cover local bands, and small time shows such as this. However, to Mike, let me say, this is what is all about for me. In these small venues you find some of the most killer music, and you find real down to earth people making it, for which music is a true passion, and for which the life of Rock N’ Roll has not yet gone to their heads.
Being the last band to play, Double Planet was eager to go on. The entire band was electric. Mike moved all over the place, truly moved by the music which emanated from him. Jumping or thrashing one minute, or swirling like a dervish at others. Mike and cast, with Matt on Bass, Mac and Bill on guitar, and Jon on drums put everything into the music, and were true entertainers. If you are looking for a combination of Thrash, Doom, and experimental Metal with much heart and soul behind it, check out Double Planet. You can find them at http://doubleplanet.bandcamp.com
After the show we gathered outside the venue with Kingsnake for a quick interview. Drummer Matt Farnan got a kick out of my husband’s attire. Greg was all Rasta that night. He donned a Marijuana leaf hat, Bob Marley Shirt, and colored Dred locks. Greg’s look inspired Matt to move into song; “Don’t worry about a thing” and we, three sang the Bob Marley hit, standing outside at 2 Am, on the streets of Philadelphia, just doing what Bob would do. I gave Greg the nickname of “Little Bob”.
I want to give a special thank you to Kingsnake for inviting me, and to the rest of the bands The Stone Eye, ADDER, and Double Planet for putting together a killer night of music. It’s great to see national touring acts, but its local bands like this that truly deserve attention, bringing as much if not more to a show than any festival headliner. It was definitely a night to remember, and I will be sure to come back.
A quick stop to Geno’s for a Cheesesteak was in order after this show, and the night’s festivities.