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Greenville Music Scene: Beer, Susto, & Stuff

Brett Barest’s Weekly Look at Greenville Music

Brett Barest

Last week in this space, I previewed the weeks and months ahead at Eighth State Brewing and just how much live music they have booked. This story is still fresh in my mind as I sit here at The Community Tap sipping a Birds Fly South Empress Rising imperial stout as I look at the music calendar for the week ahead. Maybe it is the beer next to me or the taps hanging on the wall in the next room but it is hard not to notice how much live music is being played at local breweries right now.

At a glance, there are ten Upstate breweries with live music happening this weekend alone, meaning there are more brewery shows than dedicated music venue performances. That’s a total of 22 artists on the iOnGreenville Concert Calendar coming out to entertain our craft beer community this weekend alone. Many of them feature local talent but a couple spots are featuring touring artists from as far away as Philadelphia and even Tokyo.

For my part, I am always partial to shows at Quest Brewing Company because I built both their indoor and outdoor stages back in a former life. I feel like as long as there are shows on those stages, I am supporting the live music scene in the most literal way possible. This Friday will see Kelly Jo and Charles Hedgepath mix it up on the taproom stage which is always a good time.

Eighth State will be joined by Pinky Doodle Poodle (who wins best named band of the weekend in my book) and Wasted Wine on back to back nights. 13 Stripes will host the rockabilly fun that is Little Lesley & the Bloodshots while New Groove Artisan Brewery brings out My Girl, My Whiskey, and Me. The list goes on (and on, and on) but you will just have to check out our calendar to sort it through it all.

My point is simply that live music always sounds better with a craft beer in hand and that craft beer always tastes better directly from the source. On a weekend where the weather is going to be wet, chilly, and generally disgusting, we need something a little more positive to look forward to out of life. I think a show at a local brewery just might do the trick.

On Susto

The biggest name to come through town this weekend, though, is obviously Susto. If you haven’t gotten on board with the latest big name act to come out of Charleston, make that a priority at your first opportunity.  This Saturday they will be performing a full band set at Cabin Floor Records and it is causing me more internal conflict than something as simple as a concert should.

On one hand, Susto is an amazing young band and the fact that they are performing their album release party at a local record store speaks volumes of the quality of the local music scene (and, also, Susto’s support of local record stores as they are playing seven of them across the Southeast this week). Plus, to see a band of this caliber in such an intimate setting should be a no-brainer and an unforgettable show. Here’s the thing though – as I read the event page that reminds me that “parking is limited” and “creative transportation is encouraged” I feel the hair on the back of my neck stand up as I imagine just how crowded Cabin Floor Records is going to be for this show. I’m picturing trying to stuff a sold out show at The Radio Room inside the old Radio Room and my personal space feels violated from behind my computer in an empty room.

In short, while I highly recommend Susto as the best show of the weekend ahead, I am doubtful that I will actually go. You, Dear Reader, are welcome to my spot in the corner as you chuckle at the mistake that I am probably making. Still, though, I will be out there somewhere, likely with a cold-to-the-touch but warm-to-the-soul craft beer in my hand, not feeling all that bad about my decision.

When there is this much to choose from, we all have to make some hard decisions. As far as our music scene goes, it is not a bad problem to have.

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