Bragg Jam is always my favorite festival I regularly attend–I love how spirited the whole downtown Macon area gets for it, there’s great food (shoutout to Doughboy Pizza and Taste & See Coffee Shop!), and the organizers always manage to keep everything running smoothly and on time, which isn’t always a given at festivals.
I was upset to not be able to make it to the shows on Friday–I had a prior commitment I couldn’t get out of. I was upset, as the Friday schedule was the best it’s been since they added a second day a few years back, and missing of Montreal is always a bummer. Nevertheless, I had a blast Saturday evening despite not getting in till a little later than I wanted (I suck at time management).
The first act I saw ended up being my favorite–I had never managed to see American Aquarium before, which was weird because I love their studio stuff. Unsurprisingly, I loved them live just as much. I would’ve stayed longer for their set at the Capitol Theatre, but since I arrived in town late, I wanted to catch as many bands as possible.
My second set was Neighbor Lady at Hummingbird. The female-fronted four piece is based out of Atlanta (though founded in Athens!) and I had caught them at a few previous shows. The group originally started as a solo project for lead singer Emily Braden, but she claims she was too afraid to perform alone and asked some friends to join her. Their music blends alt-rock and country and they remind me a good bit of Wilco.
I stopped in briefly to Just Tap’d, a small brewery with the atmosphere of a coffee shop, to catch a little of Tedo Stone. He’s a regular at southern festivals, and I always love seeing him with a full band. This set was just a chill acoustic performance with one other guy.
Pip the Pansy was next for me at the Barefoot Beer Garden. She was a huge hit with the crowd and it was tough to not be enamored when she randomly pulled a flute out of her backpack. She describes her music as “rainbow pop,” which is a great phrase to summarize her happy, joyful melodies and colorful outfits. A staple of her performances is the artificial flower blanket that covers her piano.
Anderson East was one of the headliners and I was super excited to see him. The Capitol Theatre was predictably packed for his performance, and it was pretty tough to hear him over all the talking. I wish people would go outside if they’re at a concert just to talk! From what I could hear, he sounded great and I’d love to catch a concert with just him one day.
SONTALK at Hummingbird was a cool four piece with kind of a slightly dreamy sound. I didn’t stay too long for them, but would like to catch more.
Really enjoyed the Heather Gillis Band at Grant’s Lounge. The female fronted four piece rock group had a lot of soul and their influences from the Allman Brothers was obvious. Lead singer Heather Gillis was a member of Butch Trucks and the Freight Band before Trucks’s untimely death in 2017.
Muscadine Bloodline was next for me at the Crazy Bull–it’s always such a blast to go to shows there and I love how there’s always spontaneous line dancing in the crowd.
The last act I saw was All Get Out at the Capitol Theatre–the pop punk group drew a small but very enthusiastic crowd. I was shocked by how many people knew the words!
I find myself already looking forward to next year’s Bragg Jam! I can’t say enough great things about the festival.