In it’s eighth year, Savannah Stopover still advantageously uses it’s location right off I-95 to catch artists on their way to SXSW. Past artists have included Vagabon, Porches, DIIV, and Mac DeMarco. This year was no different with Stopover’s expansive and diverse line-up. Here are a few of the artist who caught our ear at Stopover this year and you should keep an eye out for:
The last three shows Vundabar played before arriving in Savannah were sold out, and their show in Savannah was no different with Barrel House quickly reaching capacity leading up to their set. Vundabar’s self-described “sludgy, jangly pop” sound, as heard on their third album Smell Smoke, was boosted by their live performance. Frontman Brandon Hagen nebulously moved around the stage, once gathering his energy for the next song with a routine of martial arts moves. The crowd fervently moved in front of the stage feeding off the band’s energy. A group of bros chanted “VUN-DA-BAR, VUN-DA-BAR, VUN-DA-BAR” in between songs as if at a sporting event.
The energy in El-Rocko Lounge was dwindling leading up to last time slot of the night as Shopping was set to play. But, as soon as they took the stage the room jolted back to life. The post-punk trio’s live show amplifies the hints of dance music heard in their most recent album The Official Body. During each song a curious passerby could be seen peaking through El Rocks Lounge logo on the window directly behind drummer, Andrew Milk, entranced.
When listening to Chicago’s Ratboy’s discography their music brings a sense of nostalgia. This nostalgia comes across in their live show as well as their post-country sound or the vintage Garfield pin on frontwoman Julia Steiner’s guitar strap. During the set, Steiner helpfully clarified that the dead cat referenced in the song “Elvis in the Freezer,” off their album GN, was in a garage freezer not a kitchen freezer.
Prior to their set at the Ships of the Sea stage during the New West label showcase, Caroline Rose and her band could be seen side-stage sporting a mixture of tube socks, sweatbands, and Adidas tracksuits stretching as you would prior to running a race. Sandwiched in-between country acts Lilly Hiatt and Nikki Lane, Rose’s new album Loner isn’t quite country, but filled with comedic ruminations and satirical songs. Rose’s goofy DIY aesthetic can be seen in her live show from the felt lettering spelling out “Key Bored” on her keyboard to the festive chili pepper strung microphones.
By Leslie Leonard
Photos by Leslie Leonard