Tucked away on 9th Street between Washington Avenue and the tourist mecca of Pat’s and Geno’s steaks is Connie’s Ric Rac, a small venue with a weekly open mic that heavily features a few artists in addition to their walk-in signups. Last night their open mic played host to South Jersey rockers Shadowplay for their soft return after frontman Andrew Corkery’s semester abroad. For this stripped-down set they left drummer Kyle Duckworth at home, focusing on the intricate riffs and solos passed back and forth between guitarists Phoenix Holden, John Sellers, and Ed Flynn.
They opened with their song “Sandy Eyes”, proceeds from the sale of which go to Hurricane Sandy relief. Shadowplay’s devotion to classic rock sometimes flirts with the edges of prog, up to and including lyrics about dungeons and snowy mountain peaks, but between catchy choruses and Corkery’s convulsive stage presence they stay firmly planted in more straightforward rock’n'roll. Their set continued through a song by Sellers and a few debuts so new that lyrics had to be checked on smartphones, Sellers and Flynn switching off between bass and guitar. As they came to a close Corkery asked the crowd to sign up for the mailing list on their website in order to get some free music and encouraged everyone to look online for their upcoming gigs, including a slot at a Spotify showcase this spring at SXSW. You can catch them next Wednesday as a featured artist at another weekly open mic at The Legendary Dobbs, this time complete with drummer, and the following day at Shady Katie’s in their native New Jersey.
By Dave Fox | Philadelphia Ambassador | @philosofoxthedj | Beat-Play and Music Without Labels, LLC