Monday, August 5, 2013

Music Monday: Secret Stages

I'm not sure how it happened, but I just attended my first Secret Stages weekend here in Birmingham and the festival has been happening since 2011. Either they've been keeping the festival secret a little too well or I am just slow to the game. Regardless, I'm glad I finally caught up to the scene.

If you're not familiar with Secret Stages, I like to compare it to the Birmingham Sidewalk Film Festival, though obviously you're watching bands instead of films. But the principle is the same in that there are so many different genres and bands performing at the same time.

Basically it's like any other festival in that you choose which bands you're most interested in, but it's great because there are at least five artists performing at all times. And all of the shows are held at local bars and venues downtown near 2nd Street North—putting you within a quick walking distance to a ridiculous amount of music.

I'd say the weekend pass (for only $20) is definitely the best way to go, and that's exactly what J & I decided to do. We were able to catch nine different bands perform each night, for a total of 18 bands over the weekend. Um yeah, insane.

I was able to see some of my local favorites like the Great Book of John and The Banditos plus see completely new bands that I have never heard of like Amasa Hines (J's fav act that we caught) and Foreign Fields (my fav show from the weekend).

One of my other favorite highlights from Secret Stages includes seeing Cleve Eaton, who has performed and recorded with many greats like Count Basie, John Coltrane and Miles Davis, play the upright bass with his band Saturday evening.

And suprisingly enough I also really enjoyed watching Bit Brigade—I mean, there was a live performance of someone playing Mega Man while the band played, who wouldn't love that?! And I even caught a hip hop act, Mr. Invisible, which was a crazy high energy and super fun show as well. It was really neat having the opportunity to branch out of my usual musical choices and experience new bands.

Obviously the weekend was a blast, and quite honestly a little exhaustin, but I definitely plan to attend again next year. And if you live nearby, you should, too.

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