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Greenville’s Brother Oliver Takes The Biggest Stage Of Their Career

Brett Barest' Weekly Look at The Greenville Music Scene

It is rare that I spend my time writing about a sold out show. Either you already have tickets, you don’t want to go, or you missed your opportunity (and me reminding you about it is as irritating as sand in your bathing suit on a hot summer day at the beach). I am making an exception this week, however, as I have more important things to talk about than the actual Steve Miller Band show at the Peace Center this evening.

Check out this week’s Upstate Live Music Calendar

Yes, Steve Miller is great and it is a wonderful thing that he is still out touring and sees Greenville as a worthwhile city to host him and his band this evening. What I am more interested in is his opening act. Who opens for the Steve Miller Band in 2019, you might ask? Well, that would be Greenville’s own Brother Oliver and that is about the coolest music news I have heard in quite some time.

When I first wrote about the psychedelic folk rock band that is Brother Oliver in October, 2015, they were really only half a band. Andrew Oliver was growing the roots of the band’s presence here in Greenville while brother Stephen finished up college back home in Michigan. Everything they produced was done via recordings shared electronically or quick visits to one home or another. Still, though, the results were captivating and everything I listened to had success written all over it. Reflecting on a solo “Brother Oliver” performance at the old Moe Joe’s Coffee in Downtown Greenville just over three years ago, I predicted that the band “will certainly grow to be a powerful force in the Upstate music community”.

I wish I could say this more often, but I love it when I am right about something.

Back then, I would have been happy to hear today in 2019 that brothers Andrew and Stephen finally shared a city and were producing quality music in each other’s presence. I would have been intrigued to learn that they would have expanded into a complete four piece ensemble that was playing shows from here to Chicago. I might have been a bit surprised to learn that they were performing four separate showcases at the most recent SXSW and had opened for the likes of Father John Misty, Susto, and other nationally recognized acts along the way.

I would, however, have in all likelihood called bullshit if you told me they would be performing in front of a sold out crowd at Greenville’s Peace Center as an opening act for the Steve Miller Band. But this is where they are and I could not be prouder of them, the Peace Center’s respect for local musicians, and the Upstate music scene as a whole.

If you have tickets to tonight’s show you are in for a treat as the opening act is as intriguing as the headliner is renowned. Brother Oliver’s brand of dark and reflective blend of psychedelic rock and folk driven songwriting is a pleasure to listen to at every opportunity. To take them in at their biggest show to date in a stripped down acoustic performance in a venue like the Peace Center just might amount to the best opening act you have ever seen.

For those of us – and I do include me – that do not have tickets for the show tonight, patience is just going to have to be a virtue. Brother Oliver is hitting the road right after tonight’s show and will not be back to the Upstate until mid-April. They are embarking on a tour that will take them to everywhere from North Carolina to Chicago and all points in between after tonight’s show wraps up. Welcome them home at Bacon Brothers on 4/18, Spartanburg’s FR8yard on 4/20, or Quest Brewing’s Thursday night concert series on 4/25 and see just how much talent is simmering and making and making a name for itself in our local music scene.

This is how far the Upstate music scene reaches and it is a pleasure to watch it flourish in such fascinating ways.

Fatai @ The Radio Room

 The Radio Room always puts on great shows most days that end in “y” but Sunday events tend to be a little extra special. Fetai is an extraordinary artist that made a name for herself on Australia’s version of The Voice but she deserves much more credit than that. She is a once in a generational talent and it is hard to believe that she is visiting a local club on a Sunday evening here in Greenville. Drawing vocal comparisons from everyone from Tracy Chapman to Whitney Houston, you are going to have to hear this one for yourself as she entertains Greenville on one night of a tour that sees her hit both US coasts before she travels to Europe and the UK. If you ever needed an excuse to go out on Sunday night, Fatai is waiting for you at The Radio Room this Sunday evening.

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