In the mid teens, a scene was popping in Clemson because of a house named “Pablo.” Bands and fans would fill the basement, swaying and bouncing in unison. Brought together by the joys of booze, music, friends, and late nights. For fans it was special to watch, but for the bands and musicians it’s been formative to who’ve they become.
It was there that I first came across Daddy’s Beemer and a host of other talented musicians, many of whom remain active in the scene today.
Saturday night, Dad’s Beem returned to New Brookland Tavern where we first met. I often wonder what they think. They showed up in Columbia, maybe for the first time as a band, and I tell them to go in the women’s bathroom at NBT and play a song for us while we hover around you with cameras. There’s not much lead up to that. There’s no organized plan, just me trying to make a moment happen. That will forever be one of my favorite acoustic sessions and has lead to a seven year digital dalliance with the band.
Earlier this year, Daddy’s Beemer played a sold-out show at NBT. Saturday night’s turnout wasn’t quite a sell-out, but it was still well-attended and the energy was great. It’s worth noting that it’s not easy for local acts to fill venues in Columbia during the summer. Between September and May, we have an additional 30,000 18-22 year-olds in town from the various local colleges compared to the summer months.
Slow Funeral opened with a solo set. Luckily I had heard the recent chatter of “serving cunt” before the show. Slow Funeral is the the alias of South Carolina-based musician Mary Norris. So when Mary said the next three bands would be serving cunt I didn’t gasp like some. I was most shocked that someone would have an audible reaction to the word cunt. That moment stuck in my head. The next bands did serve.
Slow Funeral causes your stomach to drop a bit when she starts singing. A voice so strong and beautiful that it commands the attention of the room. And with the attention of the room she pulls back the curtain and bares her soul through her music. It’s amazing to watch. One second Mary is joking with the crowd between songs, flowing freely on stage, and the next she’s bringing tears to the audience singing about how she’s made a former mate a better man for someone else. When you find someone else that has that in common, it can cut deep to the bone of a memory and strike a chord. That’s why you go to shows. That’s why you listen to music.
Comma Sutra was the first trio of the night featuring keys, bass, and drums. This was the band’s first Cola show, and comes hot off the release of their latest album “Holding Pattern.” Feel free to go down the rabbit hole of where math meets music, but I’ve never been able to make it click for me. I’m about the “feel” of music. The vibrations and the emotion the music pulls from you. Whether that be anger, sadness, or joy. Comma Sutra come at you with rhythms and patterns that don’t immediately click, but draw you in so you can figure it out for yourselves.
Dear Blanca are Columbia music scene band members that you’d want to eavesdrop on. Frontman Dylan Dickerson’s energy when it comes to music and sharing that love is a gift to whoever he’s around. Saturday night you’d over hear him talking about his upcoming tennis match against Stephen Malkmus of Pavement. Or how he was supposed to interview Bob Nastanovich from Pavement/The Silver Jews for the Comfort Monk podcast, but Bob was busy with a horse racing event and had to reschedule. You know, typical things you overhear at a local show.
Tonight DB performed in their classic form, as a three piece. The set was tight as it typically is, with Richie Harper on drums and Cam (Haircut) Powell on bass. Highlights of the set was a new song and a cover of “In Between Days” by The Cure. Next up, a late summer Soda City date and Hopscotch in Raleigh, NC.
Zaddy’s Beemer, Dad’s Beem, call them what you want. The band rolled into Cola on the closing night of their tour in support of their new album “Tangles.” Also performing as a trio — I hear three trio bands was unplanned — their performance was boyeed by the crowd, many of whom secured spots in the front row and held them all night. They made it through the thick smoke of forest fires in New York City on this tour, pushing their van 40 miles up hill for repair and after all of that…made it to NBT in time to play an exclusive pre-show acoustic set.
Keep the good vibes rolling Beemer boys.