Now that I’ve just recently shed the hangover from last year’s St. Patty’s festival, it’s time to go again. While the liver must be punished, the ears are in for a treat this year as St. Patrick’s Day in 5 Points has one of the strongest lineups in recent memory. Folk, hip-hop, southern rock, and reggae – it’s all there and carefully laid out in a way that makes sense and is audience friendly.
Before I get to the music, lets make it clear that there are several things you should be made aware of that are either new to the experience or just plain awesome. First, The Cube is back again courtesy of T-Mobile with charging stations, festival swag, ATMs, etc.
The St. Pats Selfie Contest is a thing. Basically you’re encouraged to take an epic selfie and upload it to social media, tagging @FivePointSC and using #StPatsSelfie2016 and #StPatsinFivePoints. Winner gets a $100 gift card for the Five Points business of their choosing.
There is also a silent disco, which sounds like something at Bonnaroo and could potentially be very cool. Dueling DJs start at 2:00 and the last one hits the stage at 4:50.
What is a food truck rodeo? I always thought rodeos involved cowboys and Wrangler jeans. How did a large utility van full of good food get confused with that? Remember where Newman’s Exxon was? Well there are going to be a handful of food trucks stationed there such as Pawley’s Front Porch, Size Matters BBQ Bus, Chirba Chirba Dumpling Truck and a Caribbean Creole joint.
So friends and enemies, here is your 2016 St. Pats Music Guide. Not everything is here because then it wouldn’t be a guide, it’d be a brochure. You can’t be everywhere at once so this should help pare things down a bit. Comments welcome. Criticism highly encouraged.
12:00 – Battle of the Band winner – Ropeswing Marathon (WCOS 97.5 Stage) – It’s tight, alternative pop-rock and it is clear these guys have considerable talent. Their single “Thank You” is a crafty original that holds true to familiar form then suddenly takes unexpected twists. If you are there early enough go check these guys out.
12:15 – Isabell’s Gift (Fox 102.3 Stage) – If you’re a veteran of the scene (and frankly I’m not) then you’ve seen and/or heard of Isabell’s Gift. The blistering attack and hard punk rock sounds southern and feels like LA. An early Rockefellas staple act, these fellas should get the juices flowing and are an interesting way to kick off the festival
1:00 – The High Divers (WCOS 97.5 Stage) – One of the top 5 bands in South Carolina. You should be here by now. Southern root rock at its finest. This is a good target time for your party.
1:30 – Colorblind (Fox 102.3 Stage) – Rapper Fat Rat da Czar and folk musician Justin Smith join forces. It works. This isn’t some mashed up novelty. No one else around the region is doing it. And if they are, they are not doing it as well as Colorblind.
2:10 –Susto (97.5 Stage) – So it feels like you’ve been bouncing back and forth between the same two stages. That’s a theme you’ll have to get used to although I’ll offer up a few departures later. There are quite a few alt-country acts floating around the Carolinas. This has been the case for quite some time now and a few like Shovels & Rope and The Avett Brothers have found a great deal of commercial success. Susto is gaining a lot of press and fans of late and rightly so. They are near the top of genre around here and are still in the process of refining their craft. I’m interested to see what songs are still locked up in there. There’s plenty of great material to warrant going to see them now, but I’m equally as interested in discovering what they sound like 2-3 years from now.
3:00 – Relax (not a band, actually just relax a bit) – maybe grab something to eat at the Food Truck Rodeo – check out the Magic Mike street musician and maybe stop hit the Silent Disco.
3:30 – The Rival Brothers (WXRY Stage) – If you were able to see Shovels and Rope in January for their 3-night stand at the Charleston Music Hall then you could excuse yourself and go check out The Rival Brothers. A five piece assemblage of local all-stars, the indie-rock group is led by the songwriting talents of Bobby Sutton and always intriguing guitar work of Philippe Herndon. Infectious tunes with catchy hooks, and plenty of space to stretch out a jam if necessary.
3:40 – Shovels and Rope (WCOS 97.5 Stage) – Helping make it cool to say you’re from South Carolina, Shovels and Rope have hit it big on the national scene and picked up several awards along the way. They have beautiful songs and arrangements combined with an instinct for knowing when to hit hard and when to pull back. Great addition to the festival and the potential to lay down the most talked about set of the day.
5:00 – Take an epic selfie and use #StPatsSelfie2016. Also, you look like you could use some food, and you don’t necessarily look hungry. Pace yourself.
5:30 Old Dominion (WCOS 97.5 Stage) – There will be lots of ladies here. Fans of Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, and Blake Shelton will be hovering around the Miller Lite stage at 5:30 to catch these guys. It’s the new country stuff, but its better than Florida-Georgia Line. If you aren’t into the Truckers’ rusty southern rock, or if you’re just into hot drunk girls you could hang out here.
5:40 – Drive By Truckers (Fox 102.3 Stage) – There will be lots of dudes here. It seems like this band should have played this town more often, but they haven’t. As far as I can tell, the last time they were here was 2006 at New Brookland Tavern. That’s quite a gap for a band that has long been a pillar of the southern college circuit. Well, welcome back. The deal is, this is a huge get for the festival because DBT is a damn good band. Great songs that make you want to cuss and drink brown liquor, then go to church the next morning and marry the preacher’s daughter. Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley write songs with words most of us wish we had the guts to say. Be there at 5:30. You don’t want to miss it.
Helpful tips: Bring Sunscreen and/or a hat. Wear comfortable shoes. Two beers, then water…repeat as necessary. Charge your phone.
Festival Gates open at 9am and admission is $15 online at www.stpatscolumbia.com or at the numerous pre-sale outlets. $20 day of festival.