Every year at Secret Stages I'm blown away by at least one or two performances. Mostly from bands I've never heard of and I just happen across them because I am in between shows. And that's what happened when I stepped outside to check out the main stage at Secret Stages, Mississippi alt-country rockers Young Valley caught my ear. Raucous and fun, the band made a new fan that evening. Give them a listen below as you check out my photos from their performance.
In between shows at the Secret Stages Festival, I popped into Rogue Tavern to use the bathroom and grab a beer. I'd never heard of Early James and the Latest, but glad I stuck around for their set. A spectacular live act, the band mashed up folk, blues, and country into what amounted to a barn burning set of originals and covers. And discovering an artist you'd never heard before is exactly what Secret Stages is all about. Listen in to one of their tracks below and you check out my photos from their performance.
When I made my list of bands I planned to check out at this year's Secret Stages Festival in Birmingham, Baltimore rock trio Snail Mail was top of the list. Playing at Rogue Tavern on the 2nd night of the festival, the band drew the largest crowd I'd seen at any venue. Even a few bands who had played earlier stuck around for the show. All the hype and anticipation was well worth it too. Fantastic performance, and I walked away satisfied and also a bigger fan. Listen in to a few Snail Mail tracks below and check out my photos from the show.
My last performance and 8th overall at this year's Secret Stages Music Discovery Festival was at Matthew's Bar and Grill for New Orleans based avant-pop 2-piece Caddywhompus. The band's set was everything I'd hoped it would be, frenzied and fun. Toss in a bit of finger tapping by Chris Rehm and otherworldly frenetic drumming by Sean Hart to put the band's performance in the stunning category. I cannot wait to see these guys again, seriously. Check out 'Weight' below as well as my pics from the performance.
When I arrived in Birmingham Saturday night at 7pm for the second day of the Secret Stages Music Discover Festival, I was greeted with dark swirling clouds overhead, a serious thunderstorm was moments away. I considered punting on the night, and driving back home to Huntsville. But, I had to see Future Elevators. After featuring their downright gorgeous 'Alabama Song' back in March, and then falling in love with 'Modern World', I wasn't going to miss an opportunity to see the band. I'd had other opportunities to catch a show, but the schedule on my end never seemed to agree with the band's gigs.
So, while I waited it out, I almost got smashed by a 20 foot barrier fence when a violent burst of wind ahead of the storm toppled the fence on a few folks checking out The Loudermilks. It spooked me because I was over-matched by the weight of the fence and force of the wind. By the time I gathered my wits, a few other bystanders had rushed over to help out. Thankfully, nobody was injured. And ultimately, any performances on the Main Stage were put on hold until the storm passed.
While waiting, I checked out Huntsville's own Seminole Strut at Rogue Tavern. And then, around 8:30, we were told Future Elevators would take the stage at 8:45. The long wait was over. Even though I was there to photograph, I took several breaks to soak in their fantastic performance. While their abbreviated set left off 'Alabama Song', I didn't walk away disappointed. Seeing them again is high on my list of things I must do, and it should be on your list too. Find 'Alabama Song' and my photos from their performance below.