Underground Arts in Philadelphia was jam packed last Saturday night, full of people to see three amazing bands; DEAD NOW, BIG BUSINESS and RED FANG. It was the first night of autumn and the first chilly night of the season as well, which worked out great for this flannel shirt loving crowd. DEAD NOW, a power trio from Atlanta, GA, opened the show around 9:00. They are an alternative heavy rock band who is fronted by singer and guitarist Andrew Elstner formerly of TORCHE. The band released their self-titled debut on Brutal Panda Records earlier this month, on September 7. Their performance got the audience into the groove for the other two bands, so you should definitely get there early enough to see DEAD NOW.
BIG BUSINESS was next on the bill, a stoner metal band from Seattle, WA with a flare all their own. Currently the band only has two members, but somehow they produce an unbelievable sound. Jared Warren sings as well as plays synthesizer and bass with lots of different pedals. Coady Willis plays drums and sings too. Although BIG BUSINESS has had other band members at times, this two-man lineup is how the band started in 2005. Both men also played in THE MELVINS from 2006-2015, which should give you an idea of their somewhat experimental sound. Most of the set was from their 2016 release, Command Your Weather, including “Own Throats,” “Popular Demand” and “Horses.”
The crowd had been entertained by the first two performances, but we were ready for the headliner, RED FANG. Casual as always, the band walked on stage. Then they ripped into “Crows in Swine.” RED FANG played so enthusiastically, they seemed to be just as thrilled to be there as the fans were. The Portland,OR rockers played a pretty lengthy set. They performed their latest single “Listen to the Sirens” (released August 28) which is a cover song, originally recorded by TUBEWAY ARMY in 1978. It is a little bit of a departure from their usual sound, but they played all the fan favorites too such as “Blood Like Cream,” “Wires,” “Malverde,” “Into the Eye” and ended the show with “Prehistoric Dog.”
Each set was awesome in its own way; together as a whole they were epic. Once in a while you have to skip the expensive tickets and assigned seats of a stadium concert and be close enough to crowd surf into the performer’s personal space. The east coast leg of the tour runs though the end of September. Then RED FANG will tour the west coast with TELEKINETIC YETI in November and December.
LIVE IMAGES AND WORDS: MEGAN C. BROOKS PHOTOGRAPHY