|Photo: Mia Naome|
On Saturday, June 30th, 2018, The Royal American and Murias Entertainment hosted the fifth annual Summer Shindig, and it was a blast. The Royal American is by far one of the top venues around, and they’re constantly setting the standard for live, original music in Charleston. Not only is their bar service exceptional but the space itself couldn’t be a better fit for a festival like the Summer Shindig. Attendees were able to park in the large parking lot across the street, and the lot directly in front of and to the side of Royal was blocked off to provide a large outdoor festival space.
The location and number of stages at the Summer Shindig has changed each year. This year, there was one stage set up in the parking lot directly in front of the venue, so people could either hang out on the porch and watch the performances in the shade, or get down into the lot and dance along to the music. In 2017, there were two outdoor stages, and in 2016 (the first Shindig at Royal and the last to be affiliated with defunct label Hearts & Plugs), there was one outdoor stage along with the stage inside the bar. Also, 2018 was the first year that the Shindig featured an all-local lineup.
I was a little sad that Royal didn’t have their own kitchen open (I love their new menu, it is worth hitting up for lunch/dinner/late night grub) but the food from sponsor Home Team BBQ was just as delicious. After grabbing an Old Milwaukee from Stacy at the bar, I posted up at a table for a bit with a good view of the Natural Light stage to watch the festivities.
Rare Creatures started off the music and gave a killer performance, with drummer Logan Crank tearing through two snare drums (if you’ve seen Rare Creatures live before you probably aren’t surprised to hear that). Duo Babe Club (Jenna Desmond and Corey Campbell of SUSTO) and indie pop songbirds SondorBlue gave sweet sounds that continued through the early afternoon.
It’s obviously impossible to escape the Charleston summertime heat, but I was pleased with the breeze that rolled through to cool things down during the InLaws set. If you haven’t heard of InLaws, they’re some Charleston music scene veterans consisting of Owen Beverly of Indianola and Joel Hamilton of Mechanical River. They performed a set filled with songs from their upcoming album, with special on-stage guest Michael Trent of Shovels & Rope.
Switching up the pace, it was exciting to watch my friend, Illadel, DJ for rapper Benjamin Starr. I was impressed with Benny’s style, flow, and beauty of intense subject matter within our local society. Telling the crowd to not just spread love, but spread justice sucked me in as he flowed through some a cappella rhymes.
After Benny’s set, Human Resources took the stage followed by some unfortunate rain (which by now has become a Summer Shindig tradition). As always, though, a little bit of rain didn’t stop the party. The lot in front of the stage remained packed with people dancing in the rain to the filler music. HR was back on stage as soon as the rain cleared up, and the party was rolling again at full blast!
Day faded to dusk when hip-hop duo Little Stranger took the stage in their spaceman costumes. They were joined by Human Resources toward the end of their set to play some Human Stranger tunes (EP rumored to be coming soon). Then last, but certainly not least, 2 Slices arrived to close out the night. A 2 Slices set is always a great time, and the group is no stranger to a packed out crowd of unstoppable dancing, which is exactly what happened when they capped off the 2018 Summer Shindig.
Overall, I’m happy Charleston has the capacity to pull off an all-local festival of incredible music. I am continually impressed with the musical community in this city, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of it.
See photos from the Shindig taken by the talented Mia Naome below.
|Gotta make sure his hair looks just right.|
|Matt Monday makes an appearance.|
|And then it rained.|
|But people kept dancing.|
|Yo, is there any more Budweiser?|
All photos by Mia Naome.