Reveling in hometown glory seems to be a sensible part of the coming of age experience. You hold anything you can attribute to the town you claim as your own to the highest of esteem. This seems to definitely be the case with Charleston-grown act, Stoplight Observations. Upon entering the Music Farm, I was definitely shocked by the amount of young (and I mean hella young) teens in attendance–We’re talking wall to wall here. Later, I was enlightened that this was probably because SLO started at Wando. Well, congrats. Now I have to deal with all the misbehaved high schoolers and teen angst I successfully escaped a little over a year ago. Anyways, enough with feeling too old for these situation.
If you’re into a jazz-downtempo-alternative-indie-punk-thrash crossover type act, Hub Cap Annie is for you. Whether you can be lulled or dulled by a minimally trained pianist screaming over basic drum rhythms, this is an act you gotta see live because you won’t believe it. Really. It’s that confusing. As Annie came out presented as two dudes in monkey masks, intense questions began to pop in my head: “Why is the piano so loud?”, “Is shouting over this terribly simplistic music the right aesthetic?”, “Are the parents watching their children dying like I am?”, and “Is it wrong to throw up from sixteen year olds on double dates and actually kissing?”. Obviously, these 45 minutes of life were too much to handle for me.
Then the crowd raised the ruckus as the promise of SLO grew closer. More, ahem “alcohol-influenced” teen boys began to shout and show brotherly love and the novelty of “Let Me Take a Selfie!” began to wane as multiple snapchats were traded. But in the true Charleston spirit, boys and girls initiated the chanting of “S! L! O!” until a man came on stage in what I can only describe as a modern mess of a carpetbagger. Then came the beginning of the show…of course, after a good ol’ “Are you ready kids?” followed by the youthful response and nostalgia of instinctually replying “Aye Aye Captain!” What came was Stoplight performing in a true Southern, honky-tonk fashion. Even I had to look in awe at a fiddler. I mean it’s 2014! Someone who can fiddle exists? I’m hooked. All in all, Stoplight Observations gives me a good reason to believe that not everything that comes from the dark ages of adolescence is essentially a bad time. Just keep the young’ins and their hormones in check, okay?
Donovan “Crescendo” Taylor
You can catch Crescendo on “The Break” Thursdays at 8PM on CisternYard Radio.