Savannah Stopover Pre-Party w/ King Tuff, Ex Hex and Creepoid – review + photos

I woke up Tuesday morning in another state and ended the day with one of the best shows I’ve ever seen at Hang Fire. Fortunately, that morning I grabbed one of the last tickets to the Savannah Stopover Pre-Party. It was a good thing too, because some people didn’t make it into the sold out show.

I hadn’t seen Creepoid play live yet, and man they didn’t disappoint. Playing a set that mixed some older stuff with a handful of brand new tunes, the Phlly-transplants’ opening was the spark that set the night on fire.

Creepoid is busy recording at Dollhouse Productions. As one of the very few Graveface bands in Savannah, Creepoid is now completely integrated into the Hostess City. (They also played one of their first shows in Savannah with local favorites, CUSSES.)

I feel I can safely say that Savannah has claimed Creepoid, and vice versa.

As the night developed so did an interesting subplot. After finishing a blazing hot set, the cool people from Creepoid found themselves locked out of their van. With some can-do attitude they jimmied the door open just in time to see King Tuff.

So remember, Creepoid will not only rock your face, but they are pretty damn good at getting into locked cars as well.

The Washington, D.C. based, garage-pop trio Ex Hex is touring on their debut album, Rips (Merge Records), and as the album name implies, they banged through a sweet list of tunes that wailed and roared.

Most notably, frontwoman Mary Timony (also of Helium, Autoclave, and Wild Flag) took a few stellar solos. Then, about midway through the set she just jammed for an eternity, earning rousing applause before the song ended. Which reminded me of how the famed jazz artists of old would garner early applause when they seamlessly poured through the scales with ease and melodic beauty. It was pretty much the same thing, but louder.

Rips was named a Best New Album by Pitchfork Media last year and everyone found out why on Tuesday.

Around midnight, King Tuff took Hang Fire’s corner-stage. The crowd was into the first two sets, but things got wild when the headliner took the mic.

Mixing the booze-filled-bloodstreams with the infectious power-pop of King Tuff, Hang Fire erupted in a frenzy with a chaotic half-mosh, half-dance pit that included some crowd surfing and spilled beer. I suppose everyone read the sign on the way in that said something to the effect of “by entering here, you wave all rights to your image for use in a King Tuff video. So dance your butt off!” Sub Pop Records was on scene to film a new video, and I wasn’t sure if  the spectators were dancing for the music or the video. I prefer to think it was the music.

Ironically, King Tuff premiered a brand new video Wednesday on Funny or Die for Headbanger, but it obviously wasn’t the video being filmed the night before.

At one point, the crowd surged onto the stage and knocked King Tuff’s mic right into him, interrupting him mid-verse. Like a true rocker, Tuff laughed it off and finished the song.

After a live blasting of their heavy take on danceable retro-pop, it’s easy to see why King Tuff has taken off. (I love this performance of Eyes Of the Muse from Conan last month.)

The hour-long set left Hang Fire in a foggy, humid, flesh-packed, euphoric state. It was all smiles, all-around; a good indicator of a most excellent live show.

With the full Stopover schedule released (find it here), this was a helluva pre-party, and if it’s any indication – I believe it is – the fifth Stopover is going to be pretty spectacular.

A few shots here, with more pics by Tom, Petee, and bill after the jump:


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