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It’s SPRING! That time of year when Downtown erupts into a riot of color as trees & flowers bloom and people venture out after a long winter, eager to don their shorts & flip-flops and enjoy all that Downtown has to offer. Spring also signals the return of two of Downtown’s most beloved music events – Downtown Alive and Main Street Fridays.

Music lovers of all ages are encouraged to gather at NOMA Square (in front of The Hyatt) every Thursday at 5:30PM to experience some of the best musical talent the Southeast has to offer! The 2013 season of Downtown Alive kicks off the first official day of Spring (March 21st), with the 8 piece guitar driven southern funk rock of TJ Lazer & the New Detriots. The March lineup also features Orangeburg country crooner, Brad Jennings on the 28th. April not only spotlights some sweet bluegrass from local favorites, The Piedmont Boys, but also features a trio of acts from the Charleston area like Downtown regulars, Stereo Reform and The Tarletons, as well as a newcomer to DTA, Brave Baby. May does not disappoint with a plethora of rock, soul & Americana to choose from in the homegrown music of Mark Webb, Old You, Lyric and The Soul feathers…not to mention a kilt-flaring Scottish ceildh with The City of Greenville Pipes & Drums and the Celtic rock of Cleghorn to kick-off the Greenville Scottish Games on the 23rd! As the temps heat up, so does the music with June performances by cover band, The Sound Committee, local YouTube darlings, Outshyne, Downtown funk diva, Kelly Jo Connect and local fave, singer/songwriter Doug McCormick. Don’t let the steamy July & August weather keep you indoors…or you will miss some AMAZING music, like alternative tunes of The Wheresville Project, Charleston-based songwriter, Luke Cunningham, and Downtown music scene regular, Benton Blount in July and Midlands newcomers, The Reggie Sullivan Band, the adventure of Bushfire Stankgrass, the big ’80’s hair, flashback fun of Retro Vertigo and the incendiary guitar finesse of teen phenom, Marcus King & his band! Downtown Alive winds up with a performance by the winner of the Last Band Standing Battle of the Bands on the 29th.

If your taste in music leans more towards hot jazz and cool blues, then Main Street Fridays is the event for you! Join all the other music aficionados on Fridays at 5:30PM in NOMA Square to start your weekend in style! This year’s Friday musicfest begins with the powerhouse beach sounds of Jumpstreet on March 22nd. Also in March, enjoy the smooth sounds of Charlotte natives, 5th and York. April plays host to some familiar favorites such as True Blues and Wanda Johnson, as well as some new sounds on the Downtown music scene such as Soul Stew and Hot As A Pepper. Fridays get funky in May with a wealth of righteous local talent – Southern Crescent, Green Vegas, The Jamie Wright Experience, Wine Down and The Groove Planet with Whitney Walters. Hot temps equal hot tunes and there is plenty of both this summer with The Flashbacks, Shades of Brown, The Nightcrawlers and The Swingin’ Richards appearing in June, and The Derrick Dorsey Band, NuSound, 20 Point Turn and Cosmic getting July all hot & bothered. August starts to really rockin’ with The Robbie Ducey Band, Tobacco Road and The Rock & Roll Reunion and The Craig Sorrells Project and The Wiredogs bring on the heat to finish out the month. This much good music can’t just be contained in two seasons, so MSF continues the music experience into September with the wicked swamp rock of the Palmetto Swamp Congregation, the energetic showmanship of Encore, the scaulding hot funky rhythms of Earsight and the wild ride that is The China Bulls finishing up the MSF season with a bang!

These much loved music series’ are completely free and are enjoyed weekly by thousands of music lovers. Beer and other beverages are available for sale, but an ID bracelet as proof of age(for a cost of $1) is required to purchase alcohol. And like most city-sponsored events, families are welcome, but please leave your pets at home. For more information on these events, visit the official city page at http://www.greenvillesc.gov. See you Downtown!

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Well, we’ve made it through 2012…despite the Mayans’ (& others) predictions to the contrary. Now you are looking for ways to ring in 2013 in style. No worries…Downtown Greenville offers several events to help you make this New Year’s Eve an evening to remember!

Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues “Blue Year’s Eve” Parties at The Handlebar have taken on an almost mythical status. Nothing welcomes a whole new year quite like the incendiary blues of Mac Arnold and his “juke-joint rockin’” band. This celebrated bassist, who played with the legendary Muddy Waters, can definitely be considered a beloved musical institution here in the Upstate. Joined by his fellow bluesman from Chicago, Mr. Joe Moss, Mac aims to rock in 2013 in style!  Don’t miss this opportunity to experience the genius of this blues icon! Tickets are $16 ($18 for those under 21) and are sale now at The Handlebar. For more information, visit www.handlebar-online.com.

For a chance to see a blues star in the making, swing on by Mac’s Speed Shop and rock out to the blazing guitar licks of teenaged phenom, Marcus King. This very talented young musician and his band will be ringing in the New Year with some wicked tunes that’ll be impossible to sit still through. This special NYE performance is free to Mac’s customers, and starts at 10PM. For more information, see www.macsspeedshop.com.

Flashback to the 80’s at Wild Wing Café with Greenville’s favorite retro band, Retro Vertigo!  Featuring big hair and sunglasses at night, these sharp dressed men perform everything from The Talking Heads and Devo to REO Speedwagon and Cheap Trick.  For only a $5 cover charge at the door, you too can rock out to…well…U2! There will be drink specials and party favors galore, as well as a free champagne toast at midnight! For details, call 242-9453.

RockHouse Greenville says “Why limit the festivities to just ONE location, when you can have the NYE Bash to end all NYE Bashes at TWO locations?” This year, their New Year’s Eve Party will take place at both Ford’s Oyster House & Cajun Kitchen, as well as The Lofts at Falls Park. The $20 cover charge will get you a Hollywood-style Red Carpet Arrival, free Champagne toast, pulsating dance music from 2 DJs and drink specials unlike any other club in Greenville. To purchase tickets and for more info, visit www.rockhousegreenville.com.

If you prefer to welcome 2013 in a more relaxed, laid-back manner, then head over to Smiley’s Acoustic Café for their Smilin’ New Year’s Eve.  Chill out to the indie tunes of Kelly Jo Connect, followed by those Downtown faves, The Swingin’ Richards. As always, there is no cover charge…just a good time with good people. For more information, see www.smileysacousticcafe.com

For those looking for a hot NYE party with some cool jazz, you are in luck! Two of Downtown’s premier jazz clubs are ringing in the New Year in their own stylish manner. High Cotton will be serving a special New Year’s dinner, with music provided by the Jamie Wright Experience. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 335-4200. Not to be outdone, the Brown Street Club will be ushering in 2013 with a little help from the smooth sounds of  Dan Z followed by The Shane Pruitt Band.  For more information or to make reservations, see www.brownstreetclub.com.

For Downtown thespians looking to start 2013 in a dramatic fashion, the Greenville Light Opera Works invites you to join them for their 2013 New Year’s Gala and Fundraiser at Centre Stage. This benefit event for Greenville’s Light Opera Works will feature an open bar, a dessert buffet, dance music provided by Innfusion and both silent and live auctions. Opera and musical theatre lovers will also be treated to a special cabaret performance by Ms. Andrea Leap as well as a sneak peek performance of GLOW’s 2013 season. Tickets for this swanky soiree are $100 per person/ $180 per couple and can be obtained through www.greenvilleopera.org.

So there you have it Downtownies…eight ways to ring in the New Year…to suit every party style and budget. And, as always, if you’ve enjoyed too much revelry of the alcohol-related manner, please take a cab home. We want you around to enjoy all the fun Downtown Greenville has to offer in 2013. Happy New Year!

Just in case you’ve had too much fun, here are numbers to some of the area’s Cab Companies. Please remember that this is their busiest night, so be patient and expect delays …

Yellow Cab – 864-233-6666

Greenville Metro Cab – 864-235-8807

Budget Cab – 864-233-4200



{August 13, 2012}   Goin’ Retro in the DTGVL!

They say everything gets better with age. I think that is doubly true for music! If you find yourself with the urge to take a walk down a musical Memory Lane, then go retro with some of these great events happening this week in Downtown Greenville!

If “big” hair, leg warmers and slouchy, one-shouldered sweaters are your “thing”, then don’t miss this week’s Downtown Alive featuring Retro Vertigo! This high energy, 80’s cover band will have you dancing like a maniac…for sure! Formed by several members of Greenville’s own Seconds Flat, drummer Marlon Slater and bassist Mike Henson, together with  Pat Hindman on guitar, Jim North on keyboards and Anthony Tomlinson on vocals (& cowbell…everything’s better with more cowbell), will take you back to the decade of Ferris Bueller, the Breakfast Club, and MTV. Downtown Alive is absolutely free and takes place 5:30PM Thursday, smack dab in the middle of Main Street – in front of Hyatt Plaza.

If you prefer psychedelic tunes that will take you back to the time of tie-dye, love beads and peace signs, then The Handlebar has TWO groovy concerts that you’ll just dig, man! Starting Friday night (August 17), climb your own “Stairway to Heaven” with ZOSO – The Ultimate Led Zepplin Experience. Drawing Zep fans of all ages, critics agree that this band is “the closest to the original” (Chicago Sun-Times), with their eerily accurate portrayal of Plant, Page, Bonham & Jones. Come see why ZOSO is considered by most to be the “gold standard of Led” when the band takes stage at 9PM. Tickets are $13 ($2 extra for fans under 21) and are on sale at The Handlebar. For more information, visit www.handlebar-online.com.

Saturday evening (August 18) takes you back to a time of Peace, Love & Music with Palmetto Drum Co’s latest offering in their Psychedelic Series of concerts – “Woodstock Revisited”. Great local talent such as Moxie, Deadly Crank Dogs, Kelly Jo, Leslie Smith, Matt Morgan & Friends, The Jaywalkers and True Blues will lead you on a psychedelic journey through the music of The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Joan Baez, Janis Joplin, Sly & the Family Stone, The Grateful Dead and more!  The tunes will start at 8PM and continue until Freddie tells everyone to go home! Tickets are $10 and are on sale now at The Handlebar. Like most in the Psychedelic Series of concerts, proceeds will benefit a local charity, the Greater Greenville Master Gardeners.  For more information, visit www.palmettomusic.com.

Travel back to the time of bobby socks, pony tails and The King with the Greenville Little Theatre’s production of “Shake, Rattle & Roll”. Back by popular demand, Scot Bruce and “the boys” are back with their electrifying tribute to Elvis for one week only! Opening night is Thursday, August 16 at 8PM, with 8PM shows on Friday, August 17 and Saturday, August 18. There is also a Sunday matinee at 3PM on the 19th. Tickets range in price from $20 (for children) to $30 (for adults) and are on sale at the Little Theatre’s box office or online at http://www.greenvillelittletheatre.org.  Catch it now before Elvis has left the building!

So, whether you’re a Valley Girl, a Hippie, or a Cool Cat, there’s something going on Downtown to take you back in time! And you don’t even need a souped-up DeLoren! Stay Groovy, Downtownies!

In Case You Missed It…

  • Retro Vertigo at Downtown Alive: Thursday, August 16 at 5:30PM until 8-ishPM, on Main Street in front of the Hyatt Plaza. Cost: FREE. For more info, visit www.greenvillesc.gov
  • ZOSO – The Ultimate Led Zepplin Experience:  Friday, August 17 – 9PM at The Handlebar (304 E Stone Avenue). Tickets are $13 ($2 extra for under 21). For more info, visit www.handlebar-online.com
  • Woodstock Revisited – A Psychedelic Series Concert:  Saturday, August 18 – 8PM at The Handlebar (304 Stone Avenue). Tickets are $10, with proceeds benefitting the Greater Greenville Master Gardeners. Presented by Palmetto Drum Company. For more info, visit www.palmettomusic.com
  • “Shake, Rattle & Roll” – Thursday, August 16 through Saturday, August 18 at 8PM and Sunday, August 19 at 3PM at The Greenville Little Theatre (Heritage Green – College Street). Tickets are $20 for children, $30 for adults. For more info, visit www.greenvillelittletheatre.org

 



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