Happy St Patrick’s Day, Weekend, Month! When you are visiting Savannah, it is a wildly celebrated event for the month of March. Despite my own forgetfulness, I saw hundreds of others celebrating with abandon. I was too hyper-focused on Savannah Stopover, the people, the venues, and the city which welcomed me with open arms.
This festival was all about living in the moment.
As I reflect on my amazing music weekend in Savannah, I recognize I was truly present in the moment, clear about my listening intentions, and joyful for the opportunity to see so many talented artists.
I saw, I heard, I experienced.
Savannah Stopover is clearly becoming like the music performance component of the early stages of Austin’s SXSW. Like the SXSW founders, I believe in the incredible local talent, but perhaps, the south is not yet a large enough platform to provide the kind of exposure other music hubs create. Make no mistake, there are many in the music business in Savannah and the south, but outside of Nashville, for example, they are working 24/7 to create, perform, and when free time happens….promote their music.
A music festival which highlights local bands and musicians in small venues and pairs them with emerging ‘must sees’, organically creates a devoted new fan base. I love the accidental find, where the music is pure and the performance is powerful. I cherish the moments when I hear a band before they break out into a wider arena. I recognize when hard work and determination, sprinkled with a little good mojo, can be the deal maker for a talented band. A successful music festival can boost a band and thrust them into success, one listener at a time.
I saw 24 bands in 2 days. No joke.
I was literally running from venue to venue trying to see as many talented bands as I could physically manage. I can only compare my experience to being a winning millionth grocery shopper, who gets to fill a cart for a set amount of time, and walk away with all the goods. I admit, I was pretty drained afterward, but in the moment, adrenaline and joy pushed me to keep going. I came home with all the goods for sure-a lifetime of fun memories and some really cool bands to watch as they inch their way closer to success and stardom.
Arriving in Savannah is a wondrous joy, especially when you are greeted with hundreds of runners in St. Patrick’s Day paraphernalia. Luckily, I passed the intersection before it was halted for traffic! Due to my difficulty packing with a broken arm, late leavings, and having to navigate to the wristband headquarters, I missed a couple of the Friday music acts I really wanted to see. So I will be on the lookout for Weekender and Wray. I hope they might get to Atlanta real soon.
After wristbands, schedules, and maps were acquired and mulled over. We darted and ran to Trinity Methodist Church where many bands I wanted to hear were performing.
We began our music weekend with a joyous introduction to the music of Sweet Crude. They proved to be an unusual surprise of talented musicians from southern Louisiana and charged with making progressive music while simultaneously keeping the French speaking tradition alive.
When Sweet Crude finished their set, we waited patiently for Rainbow Kitten Surprise from Boone, NC.
Okay, okay….I had some frustration trying to justify listening to a band with that name. Where did it come from? They were announced and the MC even stumbled a bit. Let me tell you, after you experience their music and their show, you will never forget them! Each song had an anthem like chant where the faithful followers sang along in spirited camaraderie. I wanted to be a part of the lyric knowing club after watching the lead singer and his incredible dancing skills and impressive bouncing off of the stage (church altar). It was something to behold and captured us in a way we never expected.
A first time ever performing in GA, I totally hope they make their way to Atlanta soon so I can invite a hoard of friends to dance and sing a long!
Once their set was over, we exited quickly and made our way across the street to get a cold beverage at the Savannah Museum. In our absence, the church began to fill up with the Family And Friends devoted. They are a folk/rock Athens band. I could totally watch them play their instruments and belt out their tunes, all day.
Here is why….
Family And Friends-Amadeus
I’m a little sad I missed Sydney Eloise and the Palms, but because they are from my hometown of Atlanta, I am hoping to catch them again soon.
It was time to head out to other venues and listen to exploding sounds. We hightailed it to The Jinx to catch Washer, a Brooklyn band.
Rooted in punk, Washer played their set with serious strumming, drum banging and the occasional belting scream. I watched as several listeners hurriedly purchased earplugs at the bar. I thought it a very good idea…..and it actually gave Washer the ragged credibility of their true pure sound.
Keeping the vibe real, we couldn’t miss Muuy Biien from Athens, GA. With the lead singer’s distinctive punk vocals and the bands jamming support, they burned a fire through the crowd with a bit of mania and a cool jumping jack flash dance-a-bility.
Like, how cool is that picture? Sometimes… I get lucky. The photo really captured the energy of Muuy Biien‘s set!
We headed off to another venue to catch a few bands, and caught the tail end of a Savannah local band, COEDS. It was hard to get a full band photo, but the lead singer, Anna, was in constant motion as we listened to their raucous rukkus.
And The KIds from Massachusetts, played next at Ampersand in Savannah. They were fun, talented, and put on a fantastic show full of swirling guitars and popping drum beats.
I am not sure why they had a stuffed dear as a mascot, but it was fun to pass around and dance with! Funny how a silly prop like that can make people smile.
Lucy Dacus, from Richmond, was a must see for me and her band was up next at Wild Wing.
Listening to her songs is like opening up a personal diary and reading about someone’s innermost thoughts. The lyrics are so intimate and her vocals have such a distinctive lovely tone. Her set was something to behold, but I am a lyric fanatic and wanted to listen again and again to hear each word. The album, No Burden, will definitely be on repeat at my house.
Experiencing a bit of exhaustion, instead of rushing to see Diet Cig like I had planned, I just sat for a bit and waited for Yuck to set up and play. Looking back I could kick myself for missing it. Fortunately, they will be at Shaky Knees in May.
Yuck, all the way from London, brought the crowd and had us all up front and moving to their tunes.
Yuck-Hearts In Motion
I don’t know why, but I was fascinated by the reflection in the drum of those flowery pants. I wish the picture had come out clearer, cause it was kinda cool.
I totally heard a Beatlesque vibe from some of their songs. It was great to get to know their sound a bit better, and I loved what I heard.
So the night didn’t end here. What is a day of music without a serious dance pop sound and a glittery ball reflecting all the lights? Mr Little Jeans was our close out sound for the evening. Mr Little Jeans is a Norwegian songstress that now resides in LA. We gathered with the late night crowd listening and swaying to her soothing vocals and electronic beats.
Mr Little Jeans-Waking Up
Day one wrapped up, with one exception….the long walk home. The people watching was glorious and who knew there were so many brides to be in this town?
Good golly, I seriously lost count!
Stay tuned for day two, coming soon!