The first time Atlas Road Crew played 5 Points Pub in Columbia, SC it was a last-minute deal. The popular 5 Points venue had a band coming in that didn’t have a big draw, and they needed an opener that could make it just hours before the show was supposed to start. So the bartender at the club called his buddies in Atlas Road Crew, who were already setting up to practice, to come on down and open. So they packed up their gear, called and texted all of their buddies, and brought out a crowd. Their extremely last-minute draw was so good that they were invited back.
The rest is really history as April 25 and 26 ARC will play a “Two Night Stand” at 5 Points Pub, two shows that will be their last at The Pub as a hometown band and students.
Early on Atlas Road Crew didn’t have direction, something that’s not uncommon of college bands. They’d just get together in their Atlas Road storage shed and jam, play some covers, drink some beers, and use the band to meet some girls. Next thing they know they’re playing fraternity parties and random gigs around town and people were into it. Folks were more than just into it, friends and new-found fans were getting wild at their shows. That’s when the guys started to realize they had something special, and they needed to focus more on their original material. Who better to do that with than Hootie and Blowfish’s Mark Bryan, who was birthed from the same music scene Atlas Road Crew was involved in.
So the Crew went to Charleston, crashed with Mark Bryan, who has a recording studio in his house, and got to work. But the recording sessions were much more than just sitting and recording their parts and getting out. Bryan took them under his wing, coached them up a bit, taught them a thing or two about song structures and music writing in general, and some of the inner-workings of being in a band.
These days songwriting comes fairly easy for the band. Those early days of jamming out and having a good time tightened up the band and their feel playing music with each other.
That last-minute show at 5 Points Pub turned into so much more for the band. It’s where they met their manager, it’s where they honed their skills working the crowd, it’s where they tried out new songs, and it’s where their fans could go knowing they were in for some good music and a good time.
When talking to Atlas Road Crew about their musical influences, they range from member to member, but one thing they all have in common is an ear for classic rock. Bands like The Rolling Stones, Zeppelin, ZZ Top, and The Allman Brothers is where their influences seem to congregate. These influences shine through on their recordings with songs like “Betty” and “Sweet Southern Woman.” Their live show brings some of that same magic, with high energy performances, smooth moving piano solos, and guitar solos that don’t overstay their welcome. And while these recordings show the early heart and soul of the band, they haven’t even started to approach their ceiling. All of the members glow with excitement talking about their new material and the future of the band.
Atlas Road Crew doesn’t have any set plans to put out a new record soon, but they’ve got some studio time on the horizon to maybe release a single and showcase their ever evolving sound. They’re also graduating from college, and the Columbia music scene with a move to Charleston in the works. They’ve got plenty of summer tour dates already listed, focusing on college towns around the Southeast and up and down the East coast.
Atlas Road Crew has already gotten a taste of fame and it’s driving them to want more. Selling out shows, having strangers sing along, seeing girls crying outside of a venue because they can’t get in the sold out show are all things that can be a great motivators and a sign that you’re doing something right.
Special Guests at the April 25 show–The Heritage- A funk band from Winston Salem, NC that is well known in the area for their high energy live shows and fusion rock.
Special Guests at the April 26 show–The Broadcast- Grace Potter comparisons for The Broadcast are common, and well deserved. The band, which formed in New York City have relocated to Asheville, NC, a thriving music community that is supportive of their straight forward soul rock sound. A must see act when they come to town.
Catch Atlas Road Crew this week in Columbia, or one of the many tour dates below. (I’m eying that Dogfish Head show…)
|Apr 25, 2013||10:00 PM||The 5 Points Pub||Columbia, SC|
|Apr 26, 2013||10:00 PM||The 5 Points Pub||Columbia, SC|
|May 3, 2013||9:00 PM||The Alley||Charleston , SC|
|May 4, 2013||9:00 PM||Wahoo’s||Murrell’s Inlet, SC|
|May 11, 2013||12:00 PM||Rosewood Crawfish Festival||Columbia , SC|
|Jun 1, 2013||10:00 PM||Q on Bay- Beaufort, Sc||Beaufort, SC|
|Jun 6, 2013||11:00 PM||The Windjammer||Isle Of Palms, SC|
|Jun 7, 2013||9:00 PM||The PIT||Pawley’s Island, SC|
|Jun 8, 2013||9:00 PM||The Palm Room||Wrightsville Beach, NC|
|Jun 13, 2013||10:00 PM||The Tap House (Ghent)||Norfolk, VA|
|Jun 14, 2013||8:00 PM||Dogfish Head||Rehoboth Beach, DE|
|Jun 15, 2013||9:00 PM||The Bayou on Penn||Washington, DC|
|Jun 19, 2013||10:00 PM||Joe Squared Pizza & Bar||Baltimore, MD|
|Jun 22, 2013||4:00 PM||Private Party||Oakdale, CT|
|Jul 17, 2013||10:00 PM||The Pour House||Charleston, SC|
|Jul 18, 2013||9:00 PM||Hot Fish Club||Murrell’s Inlet, SC|