The Savannah Stopover is here. Not only is it hard to believe it’s time for the festival, it’s amazing to me that it’s the 7th year already. I’ve attended all 7 years, missing only one night, mostly because I’m a music nerd, but also because it’s insanely fun.
Every year I try to talk as many people as I can into attending, even just for one night. The most common response is that “I don’t know many (any?) of those bands”. Allow me to be blunt: If you like music or fun, it doesn’t matter. At all. It’s about music discovery, hanging with your friends, finding cool new places in the city, and having a good time. In short, it’s about making memories.
On that note, here’s thirty odd (both literally and figuratively) Savannah Stopover memories. Everyone has their own experience, but maybe some of our memories overlap, or maybe it will give you an idea of the vibe of this crazy, interesting, and just plain old awesome weekend.
1.) seeing the flyer for the first year on the door to The Jinx. I recognized a few artists, and didn’t know a lot more, but hey, it could be fun?
2.) driving to The Wormhole for the first time ever for opening night. As I was nearing my destination, I was starting to think the GPS was wrong. I didn’t know much a ton about Savannah at that point, and the neighborhood seemed kinda sketchy. The Starland District is one of my favorite places in the city now.
3.) getting to the Wormhole door for the opening band of the first year just as the skies opened up and Stopover staff was carrying cases of PBR’s through the door. The PBR sponsorship the first year began my 7 year (and counting) love affair with their tall boys.
4.) the crazy ass LED light jacket and gloves the dude from Born Gold had on at the Jepson performance. OH MY GOD. It had like a million lighting triggers that responded to his movements and uhhh…. OH MY GOD.
5.) Crazy Bag Lady played a surprise, word of mouth, pop up set at the back of Hang Fire after the festival had ended, as if we hadn’t had enough at that point. It was chaotic and euphoric at the same time.
6.) the weird, crazy cool SCAD amphitheater that was a venue one year. I’m not quite sure I could find it again without Googling it, but it sounded great, looked really interesting, and just had an awesome vibe.
7.) Civvies as a venue. A stage of sorts set up among the racks of clothes, another weird venue, cool vibe. Pretty sure you could buy a vintage sun dress as you listened to up and coming indie rock.
8.) DIVE (now DIIV), an early headliner, had to cancel due to van troubles. They made it into town the next day, and were shoehorned into a slot at the Dosha club on Broughton. Apparently not everyone got the memo, as DIIV, played to about 10 of us.
9.) so many hazy mornings after long nights of listening, walking, drinking, celebrating. Worth it every time.
10.) Ty Pennington, the Extreme Home Makeover dude, at the Thurston Moore show at the Knights of Columbus hall, and then later at The Jinx. Umm, WTF was Ty Pennington doing there?
11.) the trippy, semi insane light show at the of Montreal show at the Forsyth band shell. Skulls, vivid colors, and I’m sure more than a few super confused locals taking in the free show.
12.) Moon River Brewing no longer being a venue due to noise complaints from the building next door. Ughh, you bought a place next to an establishment that has live music, deal with it.
13.) the dude from Reptar’s hilarious Reptar (you know, from Rugrats?) dinosaur costume that he wore as he played. The epitome of a fun set.
14.) the entirely too late night VIP dance parties in the old Sub Zero lounge. Bands DJ’ing, free flowing booze, tons of artists and just general weirdness in a crazy Star Wars cantina like vacant bar. Totally normal stuff, right?
15.) Damon and The Shitkickers Saturday Happy Hours at The Jinx. You might see dozens of amazing touring acts over the weekend, but there’s a reason the in the know locals still show up for these happy hours. Hint: It’s because Damon and The Shitkickers are as good as any of the bands playing, and more fun to boot.
16.) St. Paul and The Broken Bones opening night at The Knights of Columbus hall. That’s how you open a festival. Amazing, and talked about all weekend long.
17.) shutting down traffic on half of Telfair Square for a stage in the middle of the street. Sooo cool.
18.) mixing the crazy flavored vodkas with delicious craft sodas in the lounge, sometimes things that seem like a good idea are not. At all.
19.) the amazing mix of locals dancing on the stage with Southern Culture on the Skids. Hell, Rick Miller’s suit was pretty memorable, too.
20.) the killer leather coozies from Satchel that were in the VIP gift bags. They’re still in regular rotation at the house. The bottle opener/lighters were pretty rad, too.
21.) the entire Peelander Z set. Costumes, props, stupid awesome songs, human bowling, the entire crowd at The Jinx forced to limbo at once, our own Petee and Larry Jack on the stage…good lord, what a glorious mess.
22.) my uninitiated friends stunned by Culture Vulture, who were playing a totally typical, ridiculously amazing set. “You mean they’re LOCAL???” Uhh, yeah.
23.) the hilariously stoned and totally useless white guy on stage during the Das Racist set. Was he part of the band? Was he just a random dude that they smoked out and gave a microphone? I mean, he literally didn’t say a thing all night, but damned if he wasn’t up there the entire time.
24.) the Capsula Bowie Tribute set. All of the Capsula sets have been amazing, but the Bowie tribute was a moving and fitting tribute to the man that felt more than a little right.
25.) printing Stopover shirts on the fly outside The Jinx late night. I thought that was so cool.
26.) the War on Drugs dude being a total dick to his sound man throughout their entire set. Dick.
27.) realizing a minute or so into the song that Gemma Ray was covering Mudhoney’s Touch Me I’m Sick. Sick, indeed.
28.) Thurston Moore walking through the crowd and then out the back door of the venue while playing a guitar solo at the end of the Chelsea Light Moving set. I was against the stage and watched the rest of the band realize he wasn’t coming back.
29.) the rap dude from ATL who I’m not even going to bother looking up the name of cancelling his set at the last minute because he realized he was booked to play at Club One. Umm, to put it nicely…we don’t want you to play.
30.) seeing the Soundcheck Band play more times than I care to think about. I don’t really like that band.
31.) William Tyler playing acoustic beside the Third Man Records van to several dozen surprised attendees. AMAZING.
32.) the buzz in the air after Future Islands played. Everyone that was there was talking about it, and everyone who wasn’t wished they were.
33.) being super excited to see Speedy Ortiz, being disappointed by not so great set (it happens), but being absolutely blown away by Big Ups and Pile, who were both touring with Speedy Ortiz.