I guess it is that time of the year again. I am not usually that enamored with the end-of-year hoopla, but I must admit that I am looking forward to starting a new year in 2015, it feels like it is going to be a good year. For any of you guys that don’t know me, I am a pretty rabid live music fan that you may have seen downtown, if you ever make it out to see any of these (or any other) bands around town. I am the old guy with the big smile that you see at ALL of the shows. I have been fortunate enough to write for Bill’s great music scene blog “hissing lawns” for the past year, and really enjoy doing it (feel free to use this time to “like” the site if you haven’t already done that). I wanted to take this time to thank all of you that are kind enough to say you have read my blog or, better yet, that tell me you wouldn’t have known about a particular show if it wasn’t for this blog.
Anyway, as I said, I get to see a lot of shows and last year posted my statistics for the year. It seems that some people enjoyed that, so I will do it again this year. FYI, I consider a show as seen if I saw one complete song, but I saw most of these acts at least 10 minutes. A venue is counted for each act, so three bands in one night the Jinx would count as 3 visits. And here’s the statistics. BTW, feel free to share.
TOTAL SHOWS ATTENDED IN 2014: 748
07. Graveface Records (15) – I was glad to see that this venue made the list. I respect what the guys are doing at Graveface, they have created an all-ages venue (the only one on my list) that hosts bands that appeal to that demographic. You can often find a punk bill for $5 at this venue. And I love the surrealness of seeing a band in a record store full of stuffed animals (they also do taxidermy).
06. Warehouse (15) – This is my love-hate venue. They have good acts at times, and music starts early, at 8pm, but the greasy smell can be overpowering.
05. Congress Street Social Club (53) – The Social Club is one of the venues that is always near the top of this list. I like the stage and general set-up of the bar and they get top-quality acts. They have a good sound system and have some of my favorite staff.
04. Barrelhouse South (56) – Barrelhouse South is a newcomer to the list. This is at the site of the former Mercury Lounge/Retro. They made several improvements, including getting rid of the Sinatra painting and elevating the stage. They are kind of a hot/cold bar, sometimes they have good acts, and sometimes they have electronica.
03. Molly MacPherson’s (78) – This is my Jekyll/Hyde bar. It is one of my favorite bars at times, other times, I find it to be uncomfortable. I think I enjoy this place more when it is not as crowded. It has one of my favorite bar staffs downtown.
02. Hang Fire (88) – One of my favorite “young people’s bars”. You have to be close to the stage, or you won’t be seeing the band. Stay away from the Scorpion Tea, it only seems like it is a good idea.
01. The Jinx (138) – Wow, I guess the Jinx is on track to be the runaway winner every year. This is one of, if not the, best live venues downtown. Creepy decor, intimidating bartenders, excellent stage, great bands, what more could you want from a bar?
09. Crazy Bag Lady (14) – Crazy Bag Lady plays quite often around town, and I try to see them every chance I can. They are pure 70’s punk, I can’t understand a word that lead singer Josh Sterno says, and I love it. Josh is one of the most fascinating lead singers on this list, he really commands the audience’s attention while on stage.
08. TimeCop vs DangerSnake (15) – This band consists of two members of the Accomplices, Matt Eckstine& Zach Smith, playing mostly covers. I enjoyed going to see on their regular Thursday gig at Molly MacPherson’s, but, alas, Molly’s is not featuring music on Thursdays anymore.
07. City Hotel (16) – This is a timeless band. I really believe they sound like their sound would fit in in the 40’s, but somehow they make it sound current. Lead singer Aaron Zimmer’s voice is amazing.
06. Waits & Co (16) – Americana from the soul. Everytime I see this band, I leave feeling uplifted. It’s a little like church. Jon Waits has one of my favorite singing voices in town.
05. Eric Culberson Band (17) – Eric is a true Savannah treasure. I think Eric has been playing in Savannah since General Oglethorpe landed. You won’t find a better blues guitar player in town, and his current band is one of my favorites.
04. Jubal Kane (17) – Jukebox blues played by a crazy Swedish harmonica player backed by one of the best guitarists in town. This is one of the few local bands that have crowds clapping after instumental solos. If you go see these guys, you are gonna come away sweaty.
03. Hypnotics (18) – These guys are practically the house band at Molly MacPherson’s and they are another of my personal favorites. I think they are one of the best party bands in town. You should think about them for wedding receptions, they are one of the few bands that will ALWAYS have a giant crowd on the dance floor. hey play old garage rock, even if you don’t know what that is, you like it (and if you don’t know, look it up).
02. Train Wrecks (20) – These guys are always at the top of my year-end lists. Anytime you go to see them, you are assured of a good show, and most often you are going to see a great one. Some of my favorite all-time shows are from these guys.
01. Accomplices (21) – This is one of the best bands in Savannah and I’m not surprised to see them (narrowly) on the top of this list. The folks in this group really seem like they have a bright future ahead of them. They are able to fill every size stage I have seen them play on. They sing four part harmonies and have a very pleasant sound that appeals to all ages of music lovers. And on top of that, they are all really great people.