What’s Coming Up in Columbia? Freeway Music Festival
After a busy first half of the month in the live entertainment department, shows in Columbia slow down a little in the last half as students start back to school and get accustomed to a new routine. That is until the third annual Freeway Music Festival rolls around on Saturday August 29 featuring over 15 bands performing throughout the day between the Music Farm and Tin Roof. Just think, it was a year ago when Freeway Music Festival offered one of the public’s first glimpses inside Music Farm Columbia, a venue that’s changed the landscape of the music scene in the midlands.
Last year’s festival raised over $7,000 for the Conner Foundation to help children afford to take private lessons. That’s a number that we hope to top this year with an excellent music lineup. Check out some of the artists performing this year.
Villa*Nova (formerly Weaving The Fate)
I know I know, the changing of the names can be confusing, but after the release of their new album Thread of Life you’ll forget all about their old name. Their show Saturday at Freeway Music Festival serves as the official hometown release show of their new album, featuring their signature mix of funk and rock.
Seventy Six and Sunny
Looking at the big picture of Columbia’s music scene over the years college rock dominates, never more than in the 90’s though. Seventy Six and Sunny embrace their alt rock influences, with guitar driven rock with plenty of pop melodic influences that make their songs both memorable and easy to sing along with.
Reggie Sullivan Band
You’re not going to find a band around these parts with better musicians than the Reggie Sullivan band. The members are masters of jazz, but this project is their avenue for original music and it’s every bit as good as you’d imagine mixing smooth sounds of rock and soul.
2015 SceneSC Sampler by Muscle Memory
Led by music scene veteran David Adedokun who is mostly seen playing singer songwriter gigs, Muscle Memory is Adedokun’s full band project, and one of the catchiest bands in the state. Adedokun and company find a perfect mix of pop music and personal lyrics in a forward thinking style that seems to come naturally to them.
Syr will stand out Saturday on their sound alone, as they’re the only Celtic inspired band on the bill. They’ll have you dancing with their Scotch Irish drinking songs, and Gaelic ballads. What started as a cover band has since turned into a band with the ability to get a crowd roused with a cover, and then do the same with their own song.
At this time last year Danielle Howle had just won Columbia’s best solo artist according to Free Times. She definitely deserved the award, but it was a little bit funny because the Columbia native now lives in the lowcountry of South Carolina. Howle has some of the best stories, and the most interesting music career of anyone on the bill, and should be required listening for anyone interested in music in South Carolina. If you’re unfamiliar start with her Wiki page.
Osara by Osara
Columbia used to have much more of a hard rock scene where Osara would fit right in, but now they’re on more of an island when it comes to the genre. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it gives the young rockers the chance to be leaders, and judging from their latest recordings they have the chops to do it.
The young eclectic band from Irmo, Ropeswing Marathon are no strangers to the stage, having played a handful of gigs at New Brookland Tavern and around the state in Charleston and Greenville already. They’re well on their way, and that’s what they’ll be showing Saturday as they continue to find their sound through live shows.
The heaviest band on the bill Saturday is a self coined “Emotional Hardcore” group from Columbia, mixing elements of punk and hardcore as their songs pound listeners with an onslaught of screams and chugging guitars.
Their winding career has brought them here, to a point where they’ve played the game and are back to the root of writing music as a duo like they did in college in the 90’s. Now located on the South Carolina coast, Finnegan Bell return to where everything started for the duo almost two decades ago.
Prettier Than Matt
Prettier than Matt is made up of the uber talented Jessica Skinner and Jeff Pits. The band blends classic rock sounds with more traditional singer songwriter folk stylingss with an indelible sense for pop melody built into both of them. Together they’ll win you over in a heartbeat live.