As my dear friends enjoy SXSW this week, I am reminiscing about my adventures last weekend at Savannah Stopover 2018. The memories put a lot of sweet in my weird bitterness that I am not going to SXSW this year. But honestly, Savannah Stopover is how SXSW used to be. Beaucoups of bands, small venues, and good eats. I am a really lucky gal!
The evening before my Stopover drive to Savannah from Atlanta, I woke up to a terrible gagging noise coming from my sweet cocker spaniel, Laney. She was sick…oh so sick. I had planned to board her at her favorite place for the long weekend. They love her there and essentially treat her like the sweet princess she is. So at 3am, and then again at 5am, I knew I had to take her to my veterinarian instead. So, many hours later and an all clear diagnosis of “she must have gotten into something” had me leave Atlanta much later than I anticipated. I seriously love my dog y’all! I won’t even begin to chat about the bad fuel that was making my car go clunk clunk crazy!
By the time I drove the 4+ hours (because of fuel issues), picked up my press pass, checked in the hotel and quickly dumped my bags, I only heard the last song of Ruby Velle and The Soulphonics…from my hotel room. I ran with my camera in hand and showed up as they were parting the stage. At this point, I was beginning to worry the weekend was going to play out as wonky as it began.
Thank the heavens above, because that was not the case at all. I was literally blown away once again with the talent, professionalism, and friendliness of the bands, the people and the city! Everything from that moment on clipped on like clockwork. As each day passed, I said little prayers that my photos might turn out. I am still learning the photo side of this blog, but overall, I hope I managed to catch a glimpse of each band showing their personality, their passion, and their laid back enjoyment of performing at Savannah Stopover.
Once again, I was greeted with an art filled entrance to where the large stage joy happens, Ships of the Sea. Savannah is filled with creative spirit, and Stopover smatters a bit of visual art along with sonic art magically!
First up for me…Larkin Poe. I get weak in the knees when I hear powerful female voices that can sing from the highest highs, then pound it down to a pleasing low. And then if you really know me, you know a slide guitar is gonna get to me too. All of that and more made them unforgettable.
Listen to a snippet…
I was taking pictures and couldn’t help seeing this cute couple navigating the band schedule and map of the venues. It is a lot to take in, if you aren’t familiar with Savannah.
Darren and Susan Reese were celebrating their 21st anniversary, and stumbled upon this incredible music festival quite by accident! Lucky, wouldn’t you say? They were also impressed to hear that there were multiple genres to explore. I enjoyed seeing them all weekend. We compared music notes and they shared their many favorites. As prepared and experienced as I am, I could never see every band. So meeting new people with different taste in music helps to make the experience more complete. Savannah Stopover is where you can meet great people, and even chat it up with the bands and even complete your experience. Such a good time!
Then, I made a mad dash to see the next band, Isaac Smith. He wasn’t really on my radar, but I couldn’t help following the crowd heading over there. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. A Savannah local, I was pleased to hear his indie folk, country, Americana sound.
The next band, Frigs was a wild ride. From their experimental style to the ease in which they included the crowd, Frigs was not only a listening musical laboratory, but also a visual curiousity. Rock on!
Wish the quality of the picture was better, but this was a really cute moment I had to share. There was a crazy crowd of people, but she made her way through it and chair danced with this adorable guy!
Off I ran to see Neighbor Lady, they are an Atlanta band that has so much promise. Neighbor Lady has full on guitar skills, relevant songwriting, and impressive vocals. They are a must listen and all of my Atlanta peeps should check them out live. They were amazing! I hope to see them again soon!
Watch them on my quick little video, be sure to wait for the guitar jam near the end of the clip….so good!
The next band was pretty far away. I had to rush and find the, out of the way, dance club venue in order to see Vita and the Woolf. They possess the ability to create larger than life soundscapes which envelop the listener and command serious attention. Her sparkle outfit and stage persona was really something to witness, powerful! Totally worth the effort.
Vita And The Woolf
I made what I might call ‘a rookie’ mistake. Instead of staying put to see a bit of the band KOLARS, I rushed off to see Zuli. Absolutely no regrets, but it is one of my weekend disappointments! I can’t tell you how many people talked about KOLARS’ set all weekend. When a gal tap dances on a drum and the music is power packed, I should’ve known to stick around even for a teeny bit. But when the set up took so long, I just panicked because I knew I was so far away from other bands that were must sees.
Once I arrived to see Zuli, I knew it was going to be an incredible performance. As I said in my earlier write up, he is definitely going places. He knows how to work a crowd and his songs are so full of life. He has the kind of indie pop power, that makes you swoon, big time!
The next band is from the UK and who knows when they will ever get to play in the south again. Those across the pond bands tend to stick to the LA, Chicago, or NYC scene. Stopover was lucky to find this spirited gem! Shopping was incredibly fun to watch perform (those expressive faces) and their music was the kind of dance bop 80’s sound that reminded me of the B-52’s back in the day. Every toe was tapping and everyone was smiling, Shopping was a true crowd pleaser!
Check out the fun video clip…everyone dancing!
Did I catch you dancing?
My last band of the night, Okey Dokey. Even though it was 1:30 in the morning, I was sad the evening was coming to an end. They played a killer set!
I was beginning to wind down and put away my camera. I sat down for the first time that night. That’s when I decided to take a video of the band doing a cover of Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You”. While I was watching it back on my phone, I looked up and the lead singer had jumped up on the bar beside me. Lesson learned, looking down at a phone is a big no no during a concert! You never know what you might miss.
See the video clip and the pic I snapped on my phone!
Missed the impressive shot but got this one!
Whew! What a night!
Can’t wait to share Day 2 with you tomorrow! So many bands, so much to share!