With fall in full swing, it's almost overwhelming when you look at all the great festivals and musical options going on around town. And while it's likely impossible to get to them all, spending a beautiful Saturday afternoon at a couple of these made for an awesome day on the Myrtle Beach music scene.
It was an engaging day full of chatting it up with music fans from Little River to Myrtle Beach. It was, frankly, surprising how many were VERY enthusiastic about their love of music and VERY encouraging to this small group of folks that truly believe in the great music this place has to offer.
It was a day full of jazz, rock and reggae — with a little country and some classic cover tunes thrown in for good measure. There was good food, good beer and good folks, and lots of "only in Myrtle Beach" sights to be seen.
Overall, it was the type of day that makes us think that our little venture and the scene it covers may be on the upswing.
Here's a few other random reactions and thoughts about what we saw yesterday:
1. Though it was born and bred in the streets of New Orleans, Dixieland music seems to be a perfect fit for the beach's laid-back, party atmosphere. It's the type of tune that can suit any crowd and get folks of all ages tapping their toes and wanting to dance. If you have a chance to check out local acts like Kat Daniels and His Rhythm Kings or the Dawgs of Dixie, definitely take it.
2. There is much more music going on up in Little River than people probably know about. Places such as Key West Crazy (right on the waterfront) and Pat & Mike's Irish Pub are really making an effort to provide good entertainment. It can be a haul for folks who live in Myrtle Beach proper, but it's probably worth the drive from time to time.
3. Carolina Liar is much more like The Killers than they are like Nickelback. Being not really familiar with their music, we were under the impression that they were of the cookie cutter, radio-friendly alt-rock variety. However, they actually impressed with a much more modern indie rock sound and were genuinely bringing their best effort as the band's lead singer, , is a Charleston native that claimed he'd "never played this close to home."
4. Downtown brought it best for Oktoberfest. In addition to the stuff happening on the big stage at 9th Avenue North and Ocean Boulveard, nearly every downtown bar had entertainment and was hopping with pleased patrons. We popped in for a couple tunes from Bowery house band Lee Travis & The Bounty Hunters, caught a duo playing covers at Oceanfront Bar & Grill and stopped by Drink! to mingle with the younger crowd and catch some in-your-face emo rock.
5. Victory Tavern is now open. We've seen the facade of this downtown bar (located on 8th Avenue North next to Bodo's german restaurant) sprout up early this summer, but hadn't yet checked it out. We stopped through on the way out of Oktoberfest and couldn't help but notice we were the only folks in there. Come to find out that according to the bartender they had just opened yesterday for the first time and didn't even have their liquor license yet.
They had planned to be ready by summer, but had some snags in getting permits and getting ready, etc. The interior was very nice and the bar definitely has potential, but you can help but worry that opening in the offseason in this economy might be a recipe for disaster. If you're looking for a downtown drinking spot, make sure and check it out...they could definitely use your help.