[If you’re just looking for pictures, see all my Stopover photos here.] Well this was one of the best shows I’ve seen in Savannah in ages.
The Jinx was already working on this booking before the Savannah Stopover was even founded, so it’s likely we would have gotten this show anyway. But the fact that it was the final night of the inaugural Savannah Stopover made it all even better — The Jinx had a special charge of energy from the mix of rabid MBD fans, club regulars, and the diverse collection of Stopover attendees who would certainly not have been there without the lure of the festival.
Murder By Death set the scene even as they came onstage — they controlled the space with details like shaded lights at the foot, desk lamps with dark silhouettes of birds, and the delicacy of Sarah Balliet’s electric cello. Adam Turla’s deep, almost-foggy voice seemed right at home amidst The Jinx’s over-the-top macabre decor, which has never been quite so fitting for a band. As a critic in Missoula noted: “If Cormac McCarthy wrote lyrics instead of novels, this is what it would sound like.”
They began the set with “As Long As There Is Whiskey in the World” and other newer songs before digging deep into their decade-long playlist.
About halfway through the set, Turla paused to reminisce about playing the same venue back in 2003 (he said ’02 but I checked on it) when it was the Velvet Elvis. He remembered a small crowd but also remembered that it was the first time MBD had gotten a write-up in a local paper. That was by my friend Jim Reed when he was still writing for Connect.
A brilliant, hard-charging rendition of “I’m Comin’ Home” was one of the final songs of the set, and then the sound engineer reminded Turla that the clocks would move forward at 2 a.m., which meant time for just one more song. After that song, the sweat-drenched Turla started to walk off stage — or so it seemed. Before the crowd could even start yelling for an encore or booing daylight savings time, he grabbed another guitar — this one with black flames — and launched into two more.
At the merch table afterward, as fans made quick purchases before being hustled out the door before 3 a.m., Turla said that “after tonight” the band would be back for sure.
Buried Beds opened the show in beautiful fashion — with a tight set bristling with talent. The one song I previewed on the Stopover website had a poppy sound to it, but show was rock with a violin.
Buried Beds is definitely a band I’d like to see again, as is Fake Problems, whose punk pop got the audience worked up before MBD. They did songs like “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Motion of the Ocean,” and “Born and Raised”:
The lighting at The Jinx got better for photography as the Stopover went on, but the crowd made it literally impossible to move around much. First a few of Buried Beds, then Fake Problems, then Murder By Death: