Savannah Stopover 2014 – March 6th – Preview
March is quickly approaching and in Savannah that means one thing. Well, in all honesty, for most people it means anticipation of green beer and plenty of day drinking. But nearly as important as St. Patrick’s Day is the annual music festival Savannah Stopover. Over the years, as bands begin to make their way out west for SXSW, several made their way through the historic little city of Savannah, GA and shared their talents. Luckily, as time progressed, people dedicated to improving the music scene in Savannah to the initiative to organize the event into the full blown, three day festival that it is today. Now in its fourth official year, Savannah Stopover promises to be bigger and better than previous years. The organizers have gone all out to top performances by previous performers like Grimes, Guards, The War on Drugs, Chelsea Light Moving, of Montreal, Turbo Fruits, and so many more. To get you better acquainted with just a few of the highlights of the festival, we’ll be bringing you a day by day breakdown of what are sure to be some of the best sets of the event.
First up is Thursday night. If you’re coming from out of town, make sure to take a bit of time to get acquainted with the downtown area beforehand, especially if it’s your first time visiting. Just a few helpful hints for those who haven’t been before. Street parking is free after 5pm on weekdays so don’t worry running back and forth between venues and your car to avoid tickets if you end up getting there late. While everything is technically within walking distance, be sure to make use of the pedicabs to get to slightly more distance venues like Knights of Columbus. The pedi-cabbers work for tips and it’s totally worth it to make sure you get there in time to catch some of the awesome bands that will make their way through Knights of Columbus. Also, make a point to check out some of the local bars and restaurants while you’re in town. On that same note, yes, you can walk around downtown with your drink so there’s no need to chug that beer before you hit the street to walk to the next venue. Please though, make sure you don’t overdo the day drinking – what’s the fun of checking out the festival if you don’t remember it? Plus, no one wants to be that drunk tourist who’s a jerk to everyone else. Anyway, back to the music. Here are a few of our picks for the night:
If soul is your thing, this band will likely be right up your alley. Light rock infused with a bit of soul that’s sure to please those looking to ease into things at the beginning of the night.
I’m starting out at the opening night poster exhibition and concert, hosted this year at new venue Moon River Brewing Company. If you’re from out of town, and interested in beer and/or history go ahead and get here early and grab a bite to eat, a locally brewed beer, and ask your server about the haunted history of the place.
The two bands that are a part of opening night are sure to be a treat. Good Graeff is featured as TBI’s February Band of the Month and St. Paul & The Broken Bones have just been signed to Single Lock Records based in Alabama after the release of their first album Half the City. You can listen to it on NPR.com, until it comes out on February 18th
Slightly folksy, slightly experimental; Savannah locals mumbledust offer up a dark take on indie music. The two piece project deliver a sound that is as haunting as it is entrancing and melodic. Definitely not one to miss for fans of the acoustic scene.
PETEY + SARAH’s pick: Fare The Gap: 9pm @ Hang Fire
Another set of locals from right down here in Savannah, Fare The Gap is one of those bands who are truly in it for the love of music. I’ve never seen a show of theirs where it hasn’t been obvious that they’re excited to be on stage and belting out ultra-poppy, synth heavy, indie rock. Definitely a band to catch to start your night off with a positive vibe.
Electronic, ambient pop music from Los Angeles. There’s a good bit of psychedelic sound thrown in for good measure. If you’re a fan of acts like Grizzly Bear, I’d check this show out. If you do make it to this set, I’d make sure that I’m ready to dance, as I’m sure everyone else there will be!
PETEY + SARAH’s pick:Triathalon: 10pm @ City Coffee
Local outfit Triathalon fuse indie rock with a good bit of surf influence to craft a sound that appeals to fans across both genres. Last year, their Stopover set was one of my favorite sets, hands down due in no small part to the fact that they packed out my favorite bar in the city. If you plan on coming to this show, make sure to get there early unless you want to listen from outside!
Bear with me for a second. Imagine a slightly soulful rock band that draw a heavy bit of influence from classic rock acts like Thin Lizzy. You’ve now got a pretty good idea of the sound that Team Spirit is going for. The catchy hooks and classic riffs are sure to please older and younger fans alike.
PETEY + SARAH’s pick: Bear Hands: 10:30pm @ Knights of Columbus
Coming down from Brooklyn, NY, Bear Hands delivers an indie rock sound driven by synths and effects laden guitar that’s sure to keep the crowd moving. The band seems to draw some pretty heavy influence from electronic post-rock bands like MGMT. Infectious grooves combined with some furious drum fills make for what looks to be a fun filled set.
Brooklyn’s Total Slacker infuses lo-fi shoegaze with a bit of pop to a great effect. Think Sonic Youth but with droning, chugging guitars. Word on the street is that these guys also put on some crazy shows so even if their music isn’t particularly for you, I’d go at least to see what they bring to the table performance wise for Stopover.
Head back to Congress Street, and right off of Martin Luther King Blvd. is Congress Street Social Club, the venue where I saw some of the best shows of last year’s Stopover (almost by accident). The Black Cadillacs are based out of Knoxville, Tennessee and bring together blues, rock and roll and a little bit of soul.
Wye Oak is certainly not your average electro/indie rock band. Combining harmonic dual vocals on top of sometimes intricate, other times minimalistic synths, guitar, and drums, the duo that is Wye Oak is sure to captivate the audience with a set that is a bit more mellow, but just as gripping as some of the other bands featured at Knights of Columbus Thursday night.
An added benefit of seeing The Black Cadillacs means that you can go ahead and get a spot front and center for the band that I am most excited about seeing on Thursday, J. Roddy Walston and the Business. I’ve seen them once before, three or so years ago in Athens. It was at that show that I was reminded how rock and roll a piano could be.
In those three years, they have improved and made a name for themselves, most recently with a stop on Conan O’Brien’s show. Lead singer Walston teamed up with duo Shovels and Rope in January and re-imagined the singer’s “Boys Can Never Tell” from the album Essential Tremors.
PETEY + SARAH’s pick: Kylesa: 1am @ The Jinx
Alright, you’re in Savannah so you’ve got to understand, metal is in the culture around these parts. And if you want to see one of the best acts to come out of Savannah, you don’t want to miss this show. Ripping dual guitars topped with the furious vocals of Laura Pleasants make for one of the most intense live acts around. As if that wasn’t loud enough, they’ve thrown in dual drums as well to take things up to 11 so to say. Heck, even if metal isn’t your thing, head on that way to get a taste of what the night life at The Jinx is really like.
Stay tuned over the next few weeks for more day by day breakdowns of must see artists as well as some survival tips for making your way through the festival and making the most of your time in Savannah!