The R5 Productions crew is at it again. Last year, they opened up the beautiful Union Transfer venue on Spring Garden. This month, they debuted another fine venue, Morgan's Pier (not to be confused with media blowhard Piers Morgan or Capt. Morgan). Located at the site of the former douche-tastic outdoor restaurant-bar Rock Lobster, Morgan's Pier will feature the finest in indie rock and DJs for the wonderful admission price of nothing on Saturdays. That's right -- free baby. I guess they wouldn't consider my suggestion for a name, Indie Rock Lobster.
It's not hard to find the new venue, since it's right on the Delaware River on Columbus Ave, between the Ben Franklin Bridge and Dave & Busters, "If you can't find a better steak in an arcade setting, you're shit out of luck, Frank." Since this is Philly, they'll have a wide selection of craft beers to choose from. I had the 21st Amendment Watermelon Wheat Beer. On the other hand, it you are boring and an idiot you can have $2 PBR cans. The food menu will suit you find, with American tacos, burgers, sammies, small bites and funky ice cream flavors.
The venue has been open for a few weeks to test out the place, with James Murphy DJing last week. Saturday was the official opening with its first live bands, including the revamp and evolved MusicSnobbery.com Presents alumni Bleeding Rainbow, formerly Reading Rainbow. Rob and Sara added to two members so that they can just crank-up the volume and reach new areas of sonic power. I welcome the new sound, because, damn, they are loud and kicking my ass with their output. Take a song like "Euphoria", where the guitar slices through some pounding drums and some sweet harmonies. I think touring with the Dum Dum Girls have rubbed off on them.
The new sound has already paid off, with the band signing to Kanine Records, home to Eternal Summers, Zambri, Surfer Blood and Beach Day. A full LP from them is pending.
Opening up is local outfit Creepoid. I dug the slow, heavy, psych rock/garage mixed with some Velvet Underground riffs just to get your attention.
It will be interesting to see the crowd that the new venue will attract. I did see plenty of confused families walk in to see a bunch of indie rockers around. I guess they were expecting 80s cover bands. On Saturday night, Matthew Dear took to the DJ booth for night. The Juan McClean, Holy Ghost and Chris Baio of Vampire Weekend will spin and a live set from local heroes Free Energy in the coming weeks.
My only complaint with the venue is that the stage doesn't look out over the Delaware onto scenic Camden, NJ. Okay, so maybe I understand now. At least, the soundboard is equipped with life preservers.