Brett Barest: Holy Crap, There’s a Ton of Good Shows This Weekend

  • By cvbizz
  • January 1, 2020
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Upstate Live Music

I often mention in this space that the iOnGreenville Concert Calendar lists somewhere around a hundred shows for your consideration in the weekend ahead. To be specific, I just counted 95 shows on the calendar from Thursday through Sunday alone… that feels like an absurd amount of music, if you ask me. That said, I can usually scan through a list that size and pick out one show that really intrigues me or even a small handful of shows that I can round up on this digital page. The problem this week is that there is simply too much to consider, even for a brief roundup, but, dang it, I am going to give it a shot anyway.

Friday is for Breweries

Where you should go Friday evening depends on what you want to drink as much as what you want to listen to. For an evening of good old fashioned rock & roll without any pretense, Italo & the Passions will be on stage at Birds Fly South as part of their Decorate the Silence series. I built that stage and have yet to see a band on it, so I feel like I should fix that ASAP. That said, my buddy Vilai Harrington will be on stage at Quest Brewing Co. that same evening performing songs off of his brand new EP Sandhill Shaman, so there is that. Now that I think of it, though, I might want to head Downtown for the evening, the wings at Yee-Haw Brewing are pretty tasty, and Mourning Dove will be performing there. Decisions, decisions…

Those are just the three shows that catch my eye the most. Glancing at the calendar, I see additional shows at Fireforge, New Groove, Golden Grove Farm & Brew, and other breweries around the Upstate. Wherever you end up, it looks likes finding a cold craft beer to kick off the weekend is going to be the easiest thing you could ask for.

Saturday

Brewery fun rolls right into Saturday with Quest’s inaugural Quest West Fest, a tribute to the iconic Filmore West. Local favorites will assume the identities of the stars that graced the Filmore stage with Jerry’s Nub as Grateful Dead, The Bad Popes as Creedence Clearwater Revival and Van Morrison, Marvin King Revue as The Allman Brothers, and Gville Funky Fam Band as Miles Davis and Sly & the Family Stone. Meanwhile, over at Eighth State Brewing, the Candy Coffins will bring their brand of post-punk/alternative rock up from Columbia along with Spartanburg’s Satori Tree. Eighth State continues to bring in exactly the type of bands that other venues might not consider and I cannot help but love that about them.

Additionally, The Radio Room has a solid night of music, which is exactly what I have come to expect from the venue week in and week out. Allen, Mack, Myers, & Moore is the headliner and features Zach Myers of Shinedown fame. Perhaps more intriguing to me is the fact that a young up-and-coming artist named Jake HaldenVang is also on the bill. I remember seeing HaldenVang when he was a 13 year old guitar prodigy playing a since-closed blues bar in Downtown Anderson just over a decade ago and was blown away by the talent of a mere child. Now, he just finished up a run on TV’s The Voice and is touring with someone of Myers fame and pedigree so it is fun for me to check out the lineup and remember seeing him getting started way back when.

Sunday Funday

Things do not get any easier when you look at the music calendar for Sunday. The biggest show of the day (and perhaps the whole weekend) is The Black Market Trust at The Spinning Jenny in Greer. The LA based five piece jazz band is equal parts Rat Pack and Django Reinhardt and they are simply fascinating to listen to. Reinhardt’s Gypsy Jazz influence along with that of the legendary American crooners fuse together magically and, in the Upstate’s largest true listening room, should make for a great show at The Spinning Jenny.

For some spectacular lo-fi indie rock, Brooklyn based Beach Fossils round out the weekend with a show at The Radio Room. Their most recent release, 2017’s Somersault, was received with serious critical acclaim and I find myself digging deeper into their Spotify feed wondering why I have not listened to them before. This show will sell out so get your tickets now so you do not get left out in the cold (okay, mid-50’s) come Sunday.  

If a mellower singer/songwriter Sunday vibe is more what you are looking for, you have options there as well. Darby Wilcox will be right at home on stage at Quest while Swanson’s Warehouse is hosting a Songwriter Showcase of their own. More than a dozen local singer/songwriters have already signed up with room for a total of 30 slots available for a fun night of music with a competitive edge.

That all amounts to nine shows in three days, which sounds like a lot, right up until you consider how many more are on the calendar. Scroll through the app yourself and see who is calling your name and get out and enjoy a show this weekend!

Upstate Live Music Calendar