Kings Barcade in downtown Raleigh is recognized for being a melting pot for entertainers: musicians and comedians combined. Kings Barcade is located on the top floor of a three-story building at 14 W. Martin St. The venue is partnered with Neptunes Parlour, which is an underground bar that features a different DJ every night. And on the second floor, Garland just recently opened to give you an outdoor place to eat before you enjoy the show up at Kings Barcade.
The crowd that Kings Barcade attracts is a quirky mix, which coincides with the way that the venue is set up. The venue has a lot of fun decorations and paintings on the walls that give the venue an artistic, creative feel.
Fans have a chance to experience a more personal setting with the artists because the venue has a capacity of 100. The stage has hosted well-known artists such as Rob Delaney, The Avett Brothers, The Felice Brothers and many local musicians since Kings Barcade opened back in 1999. Kings Barcade also has a small corner when you walk through the doors where you can purchase merchandise and interact with the musicians.
While enjoying the live music, the Kings Barcade bar holds about 20 seats around it and offers a variety of mixed drinks and craft beers, including brews from Fuquay-Varina's Aviator Brewing Company. The bartenders are very friendly and are knowledgeable about the beers that they have on tap!
Sat. night, Raleigh artists Saints Apollo released their album "We Are Ghosts." Chris Hendricks, also from Raleigh, opened the evening and got the crowd ready to hear the new sounds that Saints Apollo had prepared. Together, Kings Barcade and Saints Apollo packed the house with all the promoting that both the venue and the musicians did by posting eye-catching posters around town and by publicizing the performance on Facebook and Twitter.
Chris Hendricks is a pop and rock artist and usually performs with a five-piece band, but Sat. night he performed an acoustic set with Calin Nanney, who is also another local musician. You may recognize Chris's voice as his song "Noise" was the theme song for the Carolina Hurricanes NHL hockey team during their 2011-2012 season. Earlier this year, Chris released his most recent album "Meant to Survive," and at the show he performed all the songs from that album, plus a few other songs. During a brief interview with Chris, I asked him if he is planning on recording a new album soon, and he explained that right now he is writing a lot of music but has no plans to record again in the near future. Although, he did say that he loves performing for live audiences, and especially in Raleigh because he gets to share the stage with other bands that are supportive of his music.
Saints Apollo contains five people: Jonathan Koo on lead vocals and guitar, Autumn Brand on violin and vocals, Kaitlin Grady on cello and vocals, Rachel Broadbent on keyboard and vocals and Andrew Fetch on drums. The group was formed in Raleigh and has been together since 2011. The band collaborates to write all of the songs they perform and they primarily fall into the indie, pop and folk genres, much like Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band or Mount Moriah. Sat. night, the band invited a few of their closest fans and friends up on stage for their first song "Hashin' it Out" to dance in the background and to get the rest of their fans to put on their dancing shoes. Jonathan carries a strong folk tone throughout all of their songs while Autumn, Kaitlin and Rachel bring in lush harmonies with their voices and instruments, and Andrew adds the catchy beat that will keep your feet tapping along with the songs.
Kaitlin Grady, their cellist and one of the vocalists, mentioned that she loves performing at Kings Barcade because of the intimate setting and it allows her to be on the same stage as a lot of her favorite indie bands.
The last time that Saints Apollo performed was in Mar. as they wanted to dedicate their free time to recording this past spring and summer, but they are very excited to be booking more shows for the rest of this year. Saints Apollo will be performing during Hopscotch Music Festival 2013 next Sat. at Tir Na NOg Irish Pub. The energy that the band gives out really invites the crowd to join in with clapping and singing along, and it is something you do not want to miss out on.
Check out other bands like Saints Apollo and more at Kings Barcade, with its intimate and energetic atmosphere. You can check out their calendar here.
Written by Kristen Hill. All photos in this post contributed by Kristen Hill with Kristen Abigail Photography.