The Music Farm is an 800 person capacity venue for live shows located off King Street in Charleston. It was once used as an indoor putt-putt course but has been functioning as a pass-through for some pretty stellar bands since 1991. Over the next several months, showgoers will have the opportunity to see bands like Passion Pit, Shpongle, Zion I, Mimosa and Flogging Molly on the Music Farm’s stage.
If these bands don’t sound too familiar to you, then you probably don’t fall into the category of 18 – 20-year-olds (like me) who packed themselves into the venue Saturday night for Beats Antique.
While perusing the crowd before the show started, I ran into a lot of kids from Savannah who had made the hour and a half drive to Charleston to see the 18+ show. Bands like Beats Antique certainly don’t show their faces in Savannah very often. But really, “Savannah’s music scene sucks!” is something I hear from fellow underage Savannahians a lot—especially because we are a city positioned between major music hubs like Athens, Atlanta, Jacksonville and Charleston.
A lot of it has to do with the fact that Savannah passed a law in 2005 that has forbidden local music halls like The Wormhole and LiveWire to allow 18 – 20-year-olds inside because they serve alcohol. Bands like Of Montreal (who are playing in Athens on Oct. 27 at The Georgia Theatre) now choose to play in other nearby cities.
This law was made by the city under the guise of lowering the crime rate, but I find that tactic quite ironic.
Like Bill Dawers said in a 2010 article on Savannahnow.com, “Does anyone think all these young adults go home…put on their jammies and turn in early? Does anyone think our young adults are committing fewer crimes or being victimized less because they’re roaming the streets rather than dancing in a nightclub?”
Bill is right. I danced to Beats Antique’s hypnotic world fusion instrumentals for two hours straight with big Xs on my hands to prevent the bar from serving me drinks. I know I can’t speak for an entire demographic, but I was much more interested in the band’s resident dancer, Zoe Jakes, as she glided across the stage in full belly dancing regalia and a giant headdress made of antlers. She popped and locked her body like only an Arabic princess could as the chains on her full-length skirt shook to the faux-electronic base coming from David Satori’s drum set.
When violinist Tommy “Sidecar” Cappel let the creeping tune of “Egyptic” (from their 2010 album “Blind Threshold”) escape through the speakers, I just about lost it. Jakes emerged from behind the curtain on the stage carrying two oversized fans made completely of feathers, which she proceeded to throw through the air to the trio’s Middle Eastern hip-hop beat.
Before I knew it, the group’s set was over. It was back to reality as the 20 year old I am in Savannah who can’t get into any shows. If the city would only consider repealing the law that dissuades bigger bands like Beats Antique from playing here, we wouldn’t have had to make the trek to Charleston in the first place. Until that happens, we can only dream of seeing such entrancing music in our own local music venues.Contact Raine Blunk.