Savannah Stopover Festival 2014 Day Two
While I was going over my notes from Savannah Stopover, I started to realized I was going to be reiterating myself quite a bit, but a good time is a good time. The Venues were easy to navigate, the crowds were knowledgable, polite and respectful, Savannah is gorgeous (even in the rain) and most importantly: the bands for the most part seemed very very enthused to be there and played fantastically.
Day two began with a great set from Cincinnati, Ohio upstart punks Tweens played at one of my favorite bars on earth, Hangfire, and started promptly at 5PM. I’d heard good things about the band and was very into their set, as was everybody bobbing and weaving in front of the band. Tweens play an affable, giddy brand of punk, and the few stragglers who weren’t paying attention at the start of the set were soon edging forward for a closer look. Tweens are definitely a group worth keeping an eye on.
Tweens – “Be Mean”
Rather cleverly, next up were Brooklyn’s The Teen Age, another very new band which kept Tweens’ momentum going with a fast and loose set. The Teen Age’s set was a bit disjointed feeling, but the band is brand new and it was a festival set, so I took it with a grain of salt. The Teen Age’s music is more of a new wave-influenced punk, and since they pair quite nicely with Tweens, one can only imagine a tour rife with puns occuring sometime in the near future. Check out their tune “I Am The Wave” below:
The Teen Age – “I Am The Wave”
A few hours later we reconvened at Blue Moon Brewing Company’s outside stage, hoping to get a good spot for the ever-wonderful Caitlin Rose, only to find out that things were running a bit behind schedule and River Whyless hadn’t even begun. Our initial disappointment quickly shifted to interest however as the Boone, North Carolina band opened by plunging head first into an impressively somber wall of sound that quickly enveloped the beer garden. Normally when I think about bands from the Boone/Asheville region that play stringed instruments I start getting sleepy, but River Whyless turned out to be an intriguing surprise.
River Whyless – “Pigeon Feathers”
Up next was one of our most anticipated shows of the festival and Athens, Georgia’s New Madrid, whose impressive new record Sun Swimmer deserves your attention. New Madrid’s freewheeling, raggedy style of rock recalls the likes of Stephen Malkmus and Neil Young and translates very well to the live setting. Congress Street Social Club was packed to the gills for the show, and I can see New Madrid’s brand of southern slacker meets 90’s college radio meets Crazyhorse music being very successful at bridging the jamband/indie music gap ala White Denim.
New Madrid – “Find My Blood”
Although it pained us to miss some of the fantastic T. Hardy Morris’s set (I’ve seen Morris’s solo band a few times or I would have stayed), our itinerary called for us to catch a set from another Brooklyn band we’d never seen before, Starlight Girls. The Starlight’s menage of 60’s girl groups combined with oddball psychedelia is as entrancing live as it is on wax. “7×3” has always stood out to me as an interesting amalgamation of sounds and it would be wonderful to see this talented band continue down a bit of a darkened path.
The Starlight Girls – “7×3”
Up next were Starlight Girls’ tour mates and NYC neighbors, Ski Lodge. Ski Lodge’s excellent debut Big Heart, features a kind of Smiths-indebted, dream framaroot app pop that has impressed literally each person I’ve spun it for. The band seems very at ease and on stage they delivered an infectious set which delivered on all of Big Heart‘s best moments. Ski Lodge was yet another band I was very impressed by on Friday, and although I hate to keep repeating myself, nearly every act we were able to catch impressed.
Ski Lodge – “A Boy”
Closing out our rock ‘n’ roll and Lagunitas-fueled evening was a band we really dig here at True Blue, Nashville country punks Those Darlins. Having recently covered Those Darlins in Atlanta and having seen them a few times perviously, it was nice to end with the familiar, beer soaked rawk from Nikki, Jessi and Co. The band plowed through a nice set of old favorites split evenly with cuts from their latest (and best) record, last year’s Blur The Line.
Those Darlins – “Oh God”