Community-driven media: Log in or Visit
0 |

The High Divers, Motel Radio, and Issac Smith at Royal American (Photos + Review)

The High Divers. Photo: Caleb Wilson

On Saturday night, The Royal American hosted The High Divers, Motel Radio, and Issac Smith for a night of live music and cheap beer for a packed out crowd. The High Divers have been on a Spring Tour with Motel Radio, and Saturday was the final night with them, and The High Divers will close out the final leg of the tour with Amigo from Charlotte. Saturday’s show was a great time: the music was on point, the crowd was energetic, and The Royal American staff were awesome as always.

It says a lot about a bar when everyone who works there seems to like their job, especially with the sheer number of people that come out of the woodworks to catch a lineup like Saturday’s. Issac Smith warmed the crowd up with an acoustic cocktail hour during which The High Divers bought a round for the whole bar. Below you’ll find some more thoughts on the show, as well as some photos taken by Caleb Wilson.

Motel Radio. Photo: Caleb Wilson

Motel Radio

Before Saturday, I had never really heard of New Orleans based Motel Radio. To give you a general idea of what I thought of Motel Radio’s set: I’ve listened to their Desert Surf Films EP at least 5 times since Saturday. Their unique brand of indie folk drew me in and their laid-back stage presence kept me there, and I know I wasn’t alone in that regard. During the show I heard mutterings among friends in the crowd, wondering, “Who is this band?”. Don’t worry, by the end of the set everyone knew the name of the band.

Motel Radio. Photo: Caleb Wilson

Motel Radio played for about an hour and gave us a solid helping of songs off both Desert Surf Films and their previous EP, Days and Nights. All through their set they helped themselves to plenty of Genessee and even some of The Royal American’s signature punch. I really recommend you take a listen to Desert Surf Films. One song that stands out to me on the all-around strong EP is “Palmilla”. I’ve got a stream of the album below. Press play and then read about The High Divers, who were up next.

Motel Radio – Desert Surf Films

The High Divers

Motel Radio had the crowd sufficiently hyped up by the time The High Divers took the stage, and I think it was a great choice to open with “Give It Up” because it’s upbeat and everyone knows it. This served to further hype the crowd who was already cheering and swinging light fixtures and of course drinking heavily. The High Divers progressed through a series of songs off their 2015 album Riverlust, as well as some new songs that they’ve been working on for their sophomore album that will be released this summer.

The High Divers. Photo: Caleb Wilson

Saturday was my second time seeing The High Divers live – the first being at the Hearts & Plugs Summer Shindig last year – and one thing I found remarkable was how much the band has improved since the first time I saw them. It’s been almost two years now since they released their first album, and it seems they’re bursting at the seams on growth toward the release of the second album. I’m pretty sure this trend of growth will continue as the band continues to play shows and fine-tune their sound and stage presence, and they will keep getting better and better.

The High Divers. Photo: Caleb Wilson

Saturday’s show was yet another positive sign for the state of the Charleston music scene. The High Divers are a home-grown band that continues to gather attention both in and out of Charleston, with spots on major festival lineups this season including Bragg Jam, South Sounds, Miles of Music, and Carolina Jubilee. A band from Charleston reaching an audience beyond the city limits is just an awesome thing to see. Stream Riverlust by The High Divers below.

The High Divers – Riverlust