Savannah Stopover Festival 2017 – a gallery of photos from day 1

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:

Larry Jack’s Magical Music Tour – 3/9/17 – 3/15/17 (Stopover Edition)

Hey guys,

Everyone else is posting a Stopover Survival Guide, I will start with mine.  I have listed a completely unrealistic listing for the Stopover.  I generally list several bands I would like to see, then go where the wind may carry me.  Sorry it’s so late, it’s a work in progress until the last minute.

First, the Larry Jack Survival Guide:

  1. Wake up, probably later than you thought
  2. Drink a lot and see lots of bands
  4. Party with your friends like you are a young person
  5. Wake up and feel like hell, what did you expect, it’s Stopover?  At least you ate.
  6. Rinse and repeat

Now my listings.  I have listed a new band (sometimes two bands) every 30 minutes.  Experience has taught me to only shoot for a different band every 45 minutes.  You local bands know I lover you, but I don’t see many local bands during Stopover, even though there are lots of good ones playing.  The number in parenthesis is my personal ranking, “1” being the highest.  Disclaimer – I listened to almost everyone, but usually only one song.  I expect to see lots of y’all sometime this weekend.  Happy Stopover !!!!

Thursday 3/9/17
1800Garden GiantShips Of The Sea
1900 – The DigShips Of The Sea
2000Kishi BashiShips Of The Sea
2100Taze DazeEl Rocko
2130Kayne StrangWild Wing Cafe (2)
2130Secret ShowStopover Headquarters
2200Chain Of FlowersJinx (1)
2230repeat repeatWild Wing Cafe (3)
2300Daddy IssuesJinx (1)
2330Hockey DadWild Wing (3)
2400Jeff The BrotherhoodJinx (1)

Friday – 3/10/17
1700 Tall Tall TreesJinx (3)
1730Becca MancariTrinity Church (2)
1800Wreckless EricJinx
1830Lillie Mae RischeTrinity (2)
1900The PaperheadCongress Street Social Club (2)
1900Secret ShowOwens Thomas
1930LawrenceShips Of The Sea (2)
1930 Gracie & RachealTrinity Church (2)
2030 Alanna RoyaleShips Of The Sea (2)
2030Ruby AmanruTrinity Church (2)
2100ESS SEEEl Rocko (2)
2130Lee Fields & The ExpressionsShips Of The Sea (1)
2130 Miggs Son DaddyClub One (2)
2200HoopsJinx (2)
2200High WaistedCongress Street Social Club (2)
2300CussesCongress Street Social Club
2300Vita & The WolfEl-Rocko (1)
2300VagabonJinx (3)
2400DCTVCongress Street Social Club (2)
2430A Tribe Called RedClub One (1)
2430Curtis HardingWild Wing Cafe (2)

1400Lyn AvenueCongress Street Social Club
1500Best BehaviorEl-Rocko (1)
1600The Bones Of JR JonesJinx (1)
1600Nellie PearlCongress Street Social Club (2)
1600The BritneysEl-Rocko (2)
1700Charly BlissEl-Rocko (3)
1700River WhylessTrinity Church (3)
1700Damon & The ShitkickersJinx
1800Tall HeightsTrinity Church (3)
1830Yoke LoreShips Of The Sea (4)
1900 – Christopher Paul StellingTrinity Church (1)
1900Secret ShowEmmaus House
1930Belle GameShips Of The Sea (2)
2000Big Mama ShakesCongress Street Social Club (1)
2030CavemanShips of the Sea (3)
2100Say BrotherCongress Street Social Club (1)
2130Lewis Del MarShips of the Sea (3)
2130 Molly BurchWild Wing Cafe (3)
2200Country MiceCongress Street Social Club (1)
2200Half WaifClub One (2)
2200Dirty DishesJinx (2)
2230 Tim DarcyWild Wing Cafe (2)
2300Ron Gallo El-Rocko (1)
2300AJ DavilaJinx (3)
2330 – SplashhWild Wing Cafe (1)
2400CrocodilesJinx (1)
2400 WeavesEl-Rocko (1)

the return of CUSSES

After taking a break through much of 2016, CUSSES roared back to the forefront of the Savannah area music scene with a tremendous packed show recently at The Jinx.

And in a great bit of news, CUSSES were also a late addition to the Savannah Stopover lineup — you can catch them at Congress Street Social Club at 11 p.m. on Friday, March 10.

And then there’s this:

Tom and I shot some photos at CUSSES recent Jinx show, which was opened by the trippy, rollicking Hank & Cupcakes and Savannah’s own Twisty Cats. Click on through for more photos of all three bands.

Savannah Stopover 2017 – Petee’s Picks

March is a curious thing here in Savannah. For some, it means the height of the college basketball season. For others, it’s the time of year when the entire town is drenched in green in preparation for month long St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

And for some of us, it brings about one of the best music festivals in Savannah. Of course, I’m talking about Savannah Stopover, the now six year old festival that’s been bringing both big and up and coming acts to Savannah stages as they make their way to SxSW and other parts of the country. I’ve been giving you an in depth view of some of the acts that we’re excited for over the last week or so, but now it’s about time for the lightning round. With over 80 bands, trying to traverse the schedule can seem like a daunting task. Luckily, we’re here to give you a little bit of insight into who might be up your alley and who might be the sleeper hits of the festival.

Here’s a little run down, sorted by day, of the sets you’re more than likely to see me catching, with a few thumbnails from some bands from previous years.

Thursday, March 9th

Garden Giant – Local Savannah alterna-pop/indie rock.

The Dig – Psychadelic rock laden with synths and trippy riffs from NY.

Kishi Bashi – Multi-instrumentalist Kishi Bashi combines a love of modern electro-pop with his expertise of classic instrumentation.

Taze Daze – Surf meets synth with the newest project from Savannah’s own Hunter Jayne.

pronoun – Emotive and airy lyrics fused with lo-fi bedroom pop out of Boston.

*repeat repeat – Surf inspired rock and roll out of Nashville, TN.

Daddy Issues – Greensboro punk rock drawing influences out of everything from garage rock to a little bit of surf rock.

Hockey Dad – An Australian duo straddling the line between lo-fi pop and surf rock.

JEFF The Brotherhood – Slightly psych, slightly garagey rock from Nashville.

30 odd Savannah Stopover memories

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.

I remember…
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.

Savannah Stopover 2017 Spotlight – JEFF The Brotherhood

You’ve got to respect a band that takes a straight forward approach when it comes to their musical endeavors. Case in point: JEFF The Brotherhood. They’re brothers. They play rock and roll music. That’s it. Well, that’s not all I suppose, but at it’s core that’s what you’re getting.

Beyond the core, the two brothers are willing to push the boundaries of what you may think you consider rock and roll and delve into sometimes psychedelic riffs or even a bit of experimental rock at times. The duo, whose extensive touring history has seen them share the stage with the likes of The Kills, Best Coast, and Fucked Up, have been together, well, all of their lives, and they’ve been honing their rock and roll craft since the early 2000s. The depth of their skills is evident in every track they’ve released.

And don’t just think that because there’s only two members in the band that they put on anything less than a stellar live show whenever they take the stage. Their garage rock style can be laid back at times, but believe me when I say they’re no strangers to rowdy shows, be it in the basement of a music hall or a sold out music festival.

Catch JEFF The Brotherhood headlining Thursday night of the festival at the Jinx at midnight (Thursday night/early Friday morning). Be sure to keep an eye out here for more pre-festival coverage as well. The wait is almost over!

Savannah Stopover 2017 Spotlight – Alanna Royale

Photo courtesy of Alanna Royale

If you don’t find yourself once an Alanna Royale track comes on, I’m afraid you’ve either lost all soul or you may possible be deaf. The Nashville based band combines influences from funk, pop, and a little old school rock and roll to create stellar live performances that have been captivating audiences since the band’s inception. And believe me, if you refuse to dance, Alanna herself will more than make up for it. In truth the only thing that could overshadow the bands killer rhythm section and Alanna’s boisterous, retro-soul voice is the energy that she herself exudes while onstage. When you come to see Alanna Royale, come prepared to have one hell of a good time because you can bet that the band sure will.

Alanna Royale will be returning to Stopover when they play at Ships of the Sea at 8:30pm on Friday evening. Stopover is coming up quickly but we’ve got all the info that you’ll need to make the most of the festival right here so stay tuned to Hissing Lawns for more previews!

Gracie and Rachel at Savannah Stopover

Gracie and Rachel

Brooklyn-based duo, Gracie and Rachel, make their Stopover debut Friday, March 10th at Trinity United Methodist Church. Mixing classical elements with dark, edgy alt-pop sensibilities and fiercely tight vocal harmonies, these two are a musical force to be reckoned with. Ephemeral yet powerful. Nebulous yet precise.  Trinity Sanctuary doesn’t know what’s about to hit.

Recently, hissing lawns caught up with Gracie and Rachel to learn more about the duo, where they’re from, and where they’re headed.

You are both originally from the Bay Area–how/where did you meet? How long have you known each other?
G: We actually met in high school! We were placed in the same dance class junior year, and at the beginning of the semester the teacher asked who the musicians in the classroom were. Rachel being a violinist, and myself being a piano player, we both raised our hands and it was decided: we were to make the music for the dance performance. I remember being a little annoyed like, ‘Hey I wanted to dance in the dance class, not play music for it!’ But it resulted in Rachel and I rehearsing together at my house after school for this performance, ultimately realizing we really enjoyed playing together, and coming to explore our own voices as writers together. So I refer to our meeting as an arranged marriage that ended up feeling like we chose it ourselves. We were about 16 when we met so we’re coming on a about decade of knowing one another! I mean, just kidding… We are only 17, so it’s just really been a whirlwind of a year.
Can you share a little about how you began working together? What is your collaborative process like?

Savannah Stopover 2017 Spotlight – Julien Baker

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when it comes to the world of singer-songwriters. Many acts get lost in the shuffle because, as talented as they may be, they can’t seem to stand out from the crowd. This is most certainly not the case when you listen to Julien Baker. The Memphis raised artist may only be 21 years old, but her writing contains a depth and weight that one would expect from someone twice her age. To say that Baker’s music is an expression of her wearing her heart on her sleeve would be too demeaning of an analogy. Baker goes a step further and gives you the shirt off of her back while imploring you to put it on yourself. While she may only have one record under her belt right now, the Matador Records artist is sure to continue making major waves for years to come.

Julien Baker will be performing during Savannah Stopover at Trinity United Methodist Church on Saturday, March 11 at 8pm. Be sure to catch her set along with the other artists featured here on hissing lawns!

A Stopover first-time visitor shares her festival picks

This is a guest post by Macon-based Molly McWilliams Wilkins. Be sure and check out her publication Southern Bon Vivant.

Savannah Stopover is one of those events I’ve been meaning to attend but just wasn’t quite able to, I would have work or personal conflicts each time. However this year I found out about one particular artist and made sure to clear out my calendar ahead of time. More on him later, but for now I’ll give y’all my schedule for Stopover as an out-of-towner heading in for my first visit to this event.

I’m heading in after work Friday evening, which is kind of a bummer cause I bought VIP tickets and the band poster event sounds cool. Plus there’s some badass bands playing Thursday. IF I were in town, here’s who I would be sure to check out:

Kishi Bashi
The man can put on a show, and he even let a writer for my website basically manhandle him backstage a couple of years ago. If you’re into classical music fusion with modern sounds, this is your guy.

*repeat repeat
Alright, I’m legit pissed I’m going to miss this one cause they’re also playing in my Macon the next night. Which means I not only missed them during Bragg Jam in Macon last year, I’ll miss them during this event. And I’ve actually met them before. Not only do they have this amazing surfer rock meets Nashville sound, they’re legit good people. This is one you’ll want to catch before they’re selling out big arenas.

Major and the Monbacks
I’m not familiar with this group, but a YouTube video gives me some insight and their instant loud and fun sound has me drawn in. I’m a fan of music I can dance like a fool to, and they seem to do it.

I’m guessing after leaving Macon around 4:00 p.m. and checking into my Airbnb, I’ll be ready to hit the venues around 7:30 p.m. if I’m lucky. It appears my first band I can really catch will be around 8:30 p.m., which is fine cause it’ll give me time to rest and fuel up beforehand. If there’s nothing I’ve learned from other festivals, it’s honestly to hydrate and make sure I’ve eaten beforehand — cause I’m likely going to get super caught up in everything that’s happening and burn through all of my energy.

Alanna Royale
This is one I severely regretting missing at Bragg Jam cause all of my friends were bragging about her afterwards. I’m a huge fan of classic female soul voices like Etta James, Nina Simone, and Mavis Staples. If this sounds like anything you can identify with, then don’t be like last-year-me and miss Alanna Royale.

Savannah Stopover Survival Guide – updated 2017 version


Happy Stopover! One of my favorite musical weekends of the year is upon us again. You already bought your tickets, right? I wrote this festival survival guide last year, but I think it may be helpful again this year. I’m changing the year specific stuff, but the basics of having fun don’t change a lot from year to year.

Which, come to think of it, is a good place to start….

1.) Have fun. Seriously, if you’re not having a good time, you’re doing it wrong. So, ditch your annoying friend, or sober up, or have a drink…..wait, actually just read on.

2.) Be cool. Only slightly less important than having fun is letting everyone else have fun. Be patient, don’t get liability-to-your-friends drunk, don’t talk over quiet bands, you know, don’t be a dick.

3.) Wear comfortable shoes. Hell, comfortable clothes in general. I know you want to look hot, or badass, or whatever, but you’re going to be walking a lot, or at least on your feet for a long time, and sore feet will suck the life out of a party. You might want to throw a rain jacket and warmer clothes in the car/hotel/bag too, because you never know.

Savannah Stopover 2017 Spotlight – High Waisted

Photo Courtesy of High Waisted

I do my absolute best not to not to fall for bands based solely on descriptions, but there was no way I could avoid doing that when I first found out about High Waisted. Described as surf rock meets pop meets rock and roll, the New York based band has been packing out clubs since 2014 and are certainly still going strong. Their mix of scuzzy bass lines, reverb laden guitars, and airy, retro vocals really create a killer sound all their own. Besides, when you have the reputation of turning every show into the “ultimate party”, how could people stay away? Every year, Stopover has a sleeper hit that I somehow manage to stumble my way onto and I think I may have just found it early with High Waisted.

You can party with High Waisted on Friday, March 10 at 10pm over at Congress Street Social Club. Stay tuned into Hissing Lawns for more must see sets for this year’s Savannah Stopover!