Last Friday night Music Farm of downtown Charleston was bursting at the seams with incredible music and good vibes as Sequoyah Prep School took to the stage with openers Southwood and Brave Baby.
Southwood started the evening out with a bang, playing songs off of their debut EP along with a few others. While listening to their recorded tracks, it’s very easy to begin to expect that they would sound just as big and impressive live, and Southwood far exceeded these expectations. It’s rare that a band can make a crowd transition so swiftly from euphoria to somberness and back again. We wiggled our hips to the salty, southern rock tunes “Hey!” and “Nashville” and swayed from side to side with an overwhelming desire to lift a lighter in the air during “Heart Don’t Lie.” Mitch Wetherington’s incredible voice and energy tied the performance together, wrapping it up into a nice present for us all to enjoy.
Next up was Brave Baby, formerly known as Wylie. It was quite a transition genre-wise from Southwood’s in-your-face rock style to Brave Baby’s more subtle build up, which is just as impressive but more comparable to building a house. They first lay down a foundation of a catchy hook and the introduction of Keon Masters’s voice, then move on to the structure, getting to the meat of the song, and finally they burn it all down (in a good way) with their powerful instrumentality and beautiful harmonies. They repeated this cycle with each song they played, like “Days of Our Youth,” and “Wylie.” Brave Baby’s set had just the right amount of “oomph” to keep the good times rolling for the third and final band.
Last and most certainly not least was Sequoyah Prep School, yet another amazing band from South Carolina. They were incredible; they all had so much energy and charisma, whether it be of the calm and collected sort like lead vocalist Justin Osborne’s or the quirky and humorous variety like guitarist West Jones’s. They played newer songs such as “Long Winded Woman,” “Hands In The Dirt,” and “About Rain, Too” as well as older songs like “Holy City,” a song taking place in good ole’ Charleston. Throughout the set Jones bantered with the audience about the Cooper River Bridge Run which took place the next day, joking, “Y’all might as well not show up ‘cause I’m gonna beat all of y’all! Except not really.”
The crowd was enthusiastically belting the lyrics to each and every song, their energy feeding the band’s and vice versa. Sequoyah’s folk-rock tunes are best enjoyed on a stage, the presence of the artists themselves making the lyrics come to life. They finished their set and strutted off stage, which prompted the audience to begin a resounding chant of “One more song!” to which the guys happily complied. Whatever song they were planning to leave us with, we’ll never know because they instead gave in to the crowd’s overwhelming desire to hear “Apple Pie (Maybe Tonight)” much to everyone’s delight. After the song they bid farewell to us, leaving a sweet taste in our mouths and a desire to see the whole show over again.
All in all, Southwood, Brave Baby, and Sequoyah Prep School are fantastic bands that deserve all the recognition that can possibly be given to them. Even though each of them has a distinct sound and style, their sets meshed together beautifully making for a very enjoyable evening. If I were to describe the show in one all encompassing term it would be this: electrifying.