There is a small but growing contingent of people in and around Savannah for whom March is one of the best months of the year, but not for anything related to the Irish.
Savannah Stopover is back for its seventh year, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. Over the years, the “grungy little sister” of South by Southwest, according to Entertainment Weekly, has just kept growing. Last year, well over 100 bands were showcased in three short days.
Read all of our Savannah Stopover band interviews here.
Stopover was built on the notion that fans will find their new favorite band in a list of mostly unknowns, or up-and-comers. This has especially rung true for me. In 2014, I caught Wye Oak at the Knights of Columbus. It is still one of my favorite Stopover shows to this day. Over the years, I’ve kept track of them. They released two albums after playing Stopover, and both have become bedrocks of my listening habits.
I’ve been listening to bands on this year’s lineup since early January, and I’ve already found about four albums I am madly in love with. In some ways, Stopover No. 7 has already won my favor this year.
Staring at the schedule for years running, I’ve been a little lost at times. Hoping to make some shows, but just winging it most of the time. However, this year, with a condensed schedule — 85 bands — it all seems a little more manageable. It’s still a little painful to think about, though. Currently, I have about 30 acts on my must-see list. I probably won’t make them all.
Here’s what I am planning on seeing. There are some holes in my schedule on purpose, because I want to wander and find something new or different (or just eat dinner).
Thursday: Garden Giant, Kishi Bashi, Taze Daze, Secret Show, Chain of Flowers, *repeat repeat, Daddy Issues, Hockey Dad, JEFF The Brotherhood.
Friday: Tall Tall Trees, Wreckless Eric, Lillie Mae, Secret Show, Alanna Royale, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Floco Torres, Vita and The Woolf, Allison Crutchfield, A Tribe Called Red.
Saturday: Kelsey Waldon, Cicada Rhythm, Nellie Pearl, River Whyless, Tall Heights, Secret Show, Julien Baker, Caveman, Say Brother, Lewis Del Mar, Dirty Dishes, Ron Gallo, Weaves.
This will be my fourth year covering Stopover, so I’ve conjured some tips and tricks to surviving — and more importantly, enjoying — the best part of March.
• Make a plan. (Use that handy-dandy schedule that was printed in last week’s edition of Do Savannah, marking times and bands you’d like to see.)
• Listen to the bands beforehand. (I am going to contradict this point in just a minute.)
• Make a backup plan. (There are a lot of great double-bookings this year. If your first choice is too crowded, know your second.)
• Also, try new things! (Stumble, literally or figuratively, into a venue and catch a band not on your list.)
• Leave time to eat. (It’s important, apparently, to help keep you going all three days.)
• Drink a lot of booze. (If that’s your thing! Plus for the secret shows and Stopover in the Yard, alcohol sales benefit a local charity. So, drink for the good of other people — win-win!)
• Wear comfortable shoes. (You’ll thank me later.)
• Bring water, to counter all of that booze. (You should be drinking a lot of water every day anyway, just to stay normal healthy.)
• Have fun. Have a [censored] blast! (No, really. This is the whole idea.)
• Go with your friends. (The right show with the right person makes all the difference.)
• Make new friends. (See above.)
• Bring ear plugs. (You will need them at most places. Probably not at Trinity; definitely at The Jinx.)
• Bring a bag with supplies. (Purses are awesome.)
• Love your neighbor as yourself. (Wear deodorant. Don’t be a jerk. Be kind.)
• Tell the bands you loved them after the show, if you did. (A lot of these acts are new or up and coming. Basic encouragement goes a long way. Most bands, in my experience, will be more than happy to strike up a conversation with you about booze, Savannah, Stopover or your favorite Fugazi album.)
• Someone show Jake from JEFF the Brotherhood where to find oysters. (He was particularly stoked about finding oysters when I chatted with him last week.)
Joshua Peacock is a freelance writer for Do Savannah. He studied playwriting and music at the University of Iowa. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.