Throughout 2018, El-Rocko Lounge has played host to a Skittles-esque rainbow of regional, local and national live music acts.
The disco bar-turned-rock club has seen superstars (Mitski), underground kings of punk (Drug Church) and the local cream of the crop (Rude Dude and the Creek Freaks) play the makeshift thrust stage. Most of the shows are free. If there is a cover, it’s typically the cheapest ticket in town for live music.
If you’re not on Facebook, you can check their schedule at elrockolounge.com, or just wander in on any random night of the week for a free live show. You might catch a great act that no one really knew was playing.
This week, El-Rocko has a four-band slate of psychedelic rock and indie-pop acts, sure to feed your need for something musical.
CHEW | Gold Light | Sept. 8
First up on Sept. 8, Atlanta psychedelic rockers CHEW return to Savannah with Charleston’s Gold Light opening the bill.
CHEW formed around guitarist/electronic wizard Brett Reagan and drum master Sarah Wilson. An instrumental trio, CHEW draws from the psychedelic rock foundations of Jefferson Airplane and electronic of krautrock with hints of jazz beats for a blast of beat-driven rock.
“We definitely always wanted to do psychedelic stuff,” Reagan said. “We don’t know how to create music otherwise. Atlanta in particular fosters that idea. There’s a big pull here for anything psychedelic. We were met with open arms when we started.”
Throughout their music, they leave spaces for improvisation, in both the guitars and drum work. These "pockets" of improvisation sometimes lead to entirely new songs.
“When we play live, we leave a lot of room for interpretation,” Reagan said. “Improv. We just flesh it out that way and build it up naturally. There are places that we’re able to let loose and in those pockets sometimes new songs will happen. Sarah will get ideas for different kinds of drum patterns from those improvisational pockets.
"We love jazz. But we don’t necessarily want to play jazz. We have a good appreciation for it and don’t want to regurgitate it. Maybe the spirit of it, but not necessarily the actual building blocks of it.”
Charleston’s Gold Light returns to Savannah with their chill indie-rock vibe, an interesting contrast to high-energy CHEW.
Gold Light is the musical projection of singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Joe Chang, who weaves together sweet yet melancholic melodies — carried by his unique baritone twang — with reverb-soaked guitars and synthesizers among a multitude of instruments painting a layered, easy sound, reminiscent of early Bon Iver and best of The Smiths.
UPDATE: This show has been cancelled due to Hurricane Florence.
*repeat repeat | Bero Bero | Sept. 12
Ready for a mid-week dance party? El-Rocko shifts back to a disco bar for 2017 Savannah Stopover alums *repeat repeat and Savannah’s Bero Bero.
Mixed from a foundation of Dick Dale’s surf rock, a tinge of pop-punk rock attitude and a heavy veil of '60s California vibe, *repeat repeat comes out as full-blast, guitar-driven, upbeat indie-pop. Husband-wife team Jared and Kristyn Corder carve out pop gold on the band’s second album, “Floral Canyon,” with songs that range from religious ideas and relationships to modern culture.
From the drummer and keyboardist of Street Clothes comes the synth-driven dream-pop of Bero Bero. This danceable, velvety opening act will prime you for *repeat repeat, so don’t sleep.