I arrived at Hilton Head’s Rooftop Bar at Poseidon just as the sun set over Broad Creek. The beautiful location alone will draw tourists to the new-ish mid-Island club/music venue, but they’ve started to book some pretty interesting acts as well, to strengthen the pull. West Coast surfer/singer Donavon Frankenreiter is the first artist I was able to catch, and I came away impressed with both the venue and the music.
Frankenreiter is often associated with Jack Johnson, as they are friends, have performed and recorded together, and Donavon’s debut record was on Johnson’s Brushfire Records label. It’s also the easiest way to describe Frankenreiter’s sound: similar to Johnson’s, a summer campfire surrounded by surfers with an acoustic guitar or two kind of vibe mixed with a more filled out West Coast mellow electric rock. Make sense? No? Well, then Youtube it.
Though the songs seem breezy and simple at first listen, the three piece was employing some impressive tricks to fill in the tracks live. The rarely seen double neck bass/lead guitar combo was in full effect, with the bass line often played and then looped to back up the impressive solos played on the other half of the instrument. Frankenreiter also controlled a Leslie cabinet with foot pedals to add some “organ” to the mix. Pretty interesting stuff to me.
As for the venue, the outdoor seating overlooks a beautiful, classic, lowcountry creek and a new and tasteful (c’mon, what did you expect, it’s Hilton Head) community park. Inside it definitely had a “club” feel until Frankenreiter took the spacious, elevated, well lit(!!!!), well situated stage and began crafting his laid back tunes. Sound was pretty good, although there was some pretty constant loud crowd noise from the bar area. That tends not to bother me at all, so if I noticed it others may have found it really distracting. Generally, though, I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to catch another show there. Edwin McCain, maybe?
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