Once upon a time, a long time ago, I worked in the construction industry where I had an employee everyone referred to as “Top That”. Whatever story anyone would tell, whatever good news anyone would share, this one guy would have a bigger or better story to outdo them all. I was oddly reminded of ol’ “Top That” as I took my weekly stroll through the iOnGreenville calendar this week.
It started with a Wednesday show that made me say “well, that’s the show of the week right there,” right up until I saw a Thursday show that may me say out loud “when was the last time he was in town?” Friday said “hold my beer” and reminded me of an all-star lineup supporting a local album release while Saturday smugly said, “well, my best show is definitely going to sell out.” Concerts around town are confidently playing “Top That” each day of the week ahead and I could not be happier about it.
Wednesday: The 502s @ Quest Brewing Company
The 502s had me at “hello” or, more specifically, their video for “Hi There, Hello” filmed live in a van at Nashville’s Americanafest in 2019. A banjo picking lead singer is accompanied by strings and horns for the ultimate folk party band which, for the record, is a sentence I never thought I would ever write. Harmonies and tempos reminiscent of The Avett Brothers back when they were interesting are there, but the overall energy and eclectic instrumentation give Florida’s The 502s a sound and voice that is all their own. This is an incredibly intriguing option for a Wednesday night show and was, in fact, the only show I thought I would write about until I saw this…
Thursday: Patrick Keenan @ The Radio Room
When I was first introduced to Patrick Keenan, he was the lead singer of The Winter Sounds performing at a house show just off Main Street in Greenville circa 2007 or ’08. I saw them perform live a few times and was impressed by their performance every single time until, one day, I did not hear about them anymore. “He’s been living in Estonia,” The Radio Room’s Wes Gilliam tells me as I nod casually while quietly wondering if Estonia is actually a real place. It is in northern Europe, apparently, and hopefully some of the story of how Keenan found himself there will be shared during this intimate acoustic performance that will include music from The Winter Sounds as well as Keenan’s solo repertoire.
Friday: Shyland Flowers Album Release Show @ The Radio Room
Speaking of intimate acoustic performances… this most certainly is not one. Anyone that reads this with any regularity knows that my love for local hip-hop runs deep and damn near all of my favorites are taking a turn on stage for this event. Shyland Flowers and his new album And Flowers For All arethe main event with a ton of support from talent such as Maxx Good$ (a verified showstopper in his own right), Lo Indigo (a young talent with atmospheric potential), Barryle (Upstate Music Award’s Best New Artist), plus the all-star crew 3AM as well as Swvnk + Litty. It was not all that long ago that I wondered where the Upstate hip-hop scene was – or if there was one at all – but this show follows a host of others that make it abundantly clear that hip-hop is way more than just alive and well in the Upstate.
Saturday: Stop Light Observations @ Quest Brewing Company
I did not expect to sandwich this lineup with a pair of Quest shows but, well, here we are because Stop Light Observations deserves mention anytime they step foot in the Upstate. If you have made it this far into this story, you might be too late to join the fun as this will likely sell out well before show time. Still, take a crack at scooping up the last ticket or two and enjoy the perfect evening for craft beer and live music this Saturday night with one of Charleston’s brightest spots from its already shining local music scene.
That all comes together for a calendar to be reckoned with and I would venture to guess that even my old buddy “Top That” would have much to say about it. Combine that with another 70-80 live performances happening around the Upstate ever week and I would say that we have a scene that is hard to beat right now. Get out there and support local music and, as always, be safe and enjoy the show.