Savannah Stopover kicked off on Thursday on a gorgeous night at the Ships of the Sea’s north garden. By the time Kishi Bashi hit the stage at 8 p.m., the packed venue was buzzing with excitement about the 3-day festival.
I love the choose-your-own-adventure aspect of Stopover — with so many bands (about 85 this year) and so many venues, every attendee will have a unique experience.
This post is just a quick narrative and visual recap of where I wound up on night 1. Seriously, I’m thrilled with the choices I made, but I ended up missing any number of bands that I would love to see. There’s just no way, however, to be everywhere at once — and there’s no way to absorb so much talent in so short a time.
The shows that I saw last night ranged from the mesmerizing and intimate set by Ezra Furman at El-Rocko to the wildly energetic artistry of Kishi Bashi at Ships of the Sea, from the surprising (at least to me) power of Chain of Flowers at The Jinx to the charismatic Aussie Alex Cameron at El-Rocko and the secret show by Chief Scout, who just gets better and better and better …
Savannah’s Garden Giant — one of the best up-and-coming acts in the city — kicked the festival off and were followed by New York-based The Dig, who were so good that I’m anxious to listen to their new album Bloodshot Tokyo. Kishi Bashi was up next at Ships of the Sea, and then we all fanned out from there. I was extremely impressed by the latest iteration of Hunter Jayne’s Taze Daze at El-Rocko, but I didn’t get any publishable photos because of the lighting conditions.
And then I was off to Chief Scout (don’t miss this band when they play their regular festival set), and then Chain of Flowers. Nashville-based *repeat repeat brought their fun and almost subversive rock and roll to the stage on the second floor of Wild Wing, and then I headed back a few blocks to El-Rocko for Alex Cameron, who I hope to talk more about in a future post.
Then back to Wild Wing for another Australian act: Hockey Dad, who attracted a great audience even though the pair were making their first trip through the South. They play a brand of upbeat garage-y rock with surf influences that is really popular in Savannah. And then, wow, Ezra Furman, who seemed to embrace the odd tension of having a rapt audience up close amidst the din of loud chatter from the other side of the bar.
I made it back to The Jinx in time for the wild final few songs of JEFF The Brotherhood. The last time I saw JEFF The Brotherhood was during the day on an outdoor stage at Forecastle Festival, with hundreds of others in attendance — it’s really something special to see such a powerful band in the tight confines of a rock club like The Jinx.
I took many, many more photos than I’m publishing here. I’ll get to those soon enough. For now, I need to rest up a little more and get ready for what promises to be a great day 2 of Savannah Stopover, featuring Lee Field & The Expressions, Curtis Harding, A Tribe Called Red, CUSSES, Ruby Amanfu, Wreckless Eric, and lots more. Click here for the full schedule. Day passes start at just $34.
Click on through for the full gallery:
Garden Giant at Ships of the Sea:
The Dig at Ships of the Sea:
Kishi Bashi at Ships of the Sea:
Chief Scout, secret show at Stopover HQ:
Chain of Flowers at The Jinx:
*repeat repeat at Wild Wing:
Alex Cameron at El-Rocko:
Hockey Dad at Wild Wing:
Ezra Furman at El-Rocko: