Music Feature

Concert Review: One Night in Fishtown

by Ryan O'Connell
Nicos Gun, Drgn King, DJ Apt One and more on a Friday night in Fishtown

This is a true story and it takes place in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia- an area that is one part hipster, one part urban decay, one part flat out affordable living and one part sketchy town. Kung Fu Necktie is located in Fishtown, underneath the rumbling of the Market-Frankford Line and an easy push of a shopping cart away from vacated warehouses doomed to become condos and the diverse hustle and bustle of the intersection of Girard and Front Streets. Walking down Front Street, you half expect to see Bruce Wayne’s parents being murdered by Jack Napier in one of the many dark corners and alleys you walk past.

Friday night baby and Kung Fu Necktie is presided over by the whimsical moustache belonging to DJ Apt One of Young Robots. It’s his joint the third Friday of every month- a night called The Ball. DJ’s spinning, people dancing, good times having. Tonight is different, though. Tonight is a release party for an EP recently released by Young Robots- five remixes of the Nicos Gun’ tune “We Could Die.” Nicos Gun would be playing- so would Drgn King, Tunde Olaniran and Miz Koronoa. There would also be DJ sets by DJ Apt One, DJ Bruce and Peter Dragontail. Narragansetts were $3. It would be a fun night.

Drgn King is different live- less polish and more rock. Ritz Reynolds isn’t around. It’s Dom leading a three piece. Three pieces are the best kind of bands for listeners and players alike. For the musicians, it means everyone involved have to bring it and properly hold their own. For listeners, well if a good three piece does their job, it’ll feel like there’s six or seven people on stage. Good three pieces have a great full and loud sound. Drgn King is full and loud. They are rock ‘n roll. I should have gotten there earlier. I might have missed “Holy Ghost.” I was ready to sing along. But they finish and I’m thinking about dancing. Peter Dragontail is spinning and spinning well.

A few words about Kung Fu Necktie- dark, dive, beers, booths, Phillies. The DJ booth is at the end of the bar. I think it would have been fun to have the DJ’s spinning from the stage. I would have said something but I was distracted. I ordered a Narragansett and got a Schlitz instead. It looked like DJ Bruce was using CD’s and part of me appreciated that.

Detroit is in the house in the form of Miz Korona and Tunde Olaniran with Korona on stage first. Why do some rappers yell more than rap when they perform live? Google answers might not have an answer for that one, which is a shame. My day might be ruined. Then Tunde and his two backup dancers…yes, backup dancers at a dive bar…it surprised me too, hit the stage and according to Future Wife was “fabulous.” Dude has a great voice and props for making the small stage at Kung Fu Necktie seem much bigger. I was dancing by the end of his set. It was hard not to.

Another Narragansett please. A water, too.

Nicos Gun are fun live, I just wish the sound was better because while some bands don’t need every note clearly defined- I feel Nicos Gun do. It was hard to tell exactly what was going on, which was a shame. But the energy was there. Barney Cortez shakes and shimmies like a young Prince and it was a challenge not being drawn to the bass player’s shirt- shiny and silver; very glam for a dark Friday night with rain predicted over the weekend. Rock stars are bold dudes. You can’t question the confidence of Nicos Gun. It oozes from them. It might be their strongest weapon.

Find a cab and go home. The burger from Standard Tap was delicious. I feel that’s important to mention.

It was a good night in Fishtown.

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