Welcome to 'Remember When.’ This is a chance for Savannah art veterans to reminisce on some of their favorite events in the city’s history. Whether it’s a concert, theater production, festival, visual art show, dance production, or comedy show, Savannah has a long history of memorable art and now is as good a time as any to look back on some of the best.
Today, we’re catching up with Kayne Lanahan, founder and CEO of Savannah Stopover Music Festival. Kayne is taking us all the way back to Stopover 2014, and a particularly stellar performance from Future Islands at Club One.
What sticks out in your mind about this particular show?
Future Islands had just performed on David Letterman three days earlier on Mon., March 3, and the video of them performing their recent single “Seasons” went viral (it now has more than 3 million views). They were, and still are, one of my favorite bands and it was a show that our whole team was just ecstatic about bringing to Stopover.
The energy in Club One was just off the charts and the space was packed—something that hadn’t really happened very often in the early years. I still remember standing to the left of the stage and just singing and dancing and watching the crowd doing the same and Sam Herring, the lead singer, just giving 1000% back to the crowd. I still get chills thinking about it.
At that time in Savannah, what do you remember most about what was happening musically and with Stopover?
2014 really felt like the tipping point year from the standpoint of the festival, as well as the local music scene. It was the year when a lot of the top up and coming national acts all wanted to play the festival. The lineup included St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Wye Oak, J Roddy Walston, Small Black and many others, in addition to Future Islands.
It was also a great time in the local Savannah music scene with bands like The Accomplices, Co-eds, Triathalon, Wet Socks, Crazy Bag Lady and many more all hitting their stride.
Ryan Graveface had settled into town for a few years and was doing exciting things with Graveface Records and with new band Casket Girls. Furious Hooves Records, lead by Ryan McCardle, was also kicking into high gear and did a showcase at Stopover 2014 with 5 bands. It felt like everything was firing on all cylinders.
Do you remember where you were at in your career by this point?
Savannah Stopover and MusicFile Productions is a 2nd career for me, and this was year four of the festival. It was probably the point at which I felt like we could keep it going and grow it. The first three years were pretty touch and go.
To have a band like Future Islands play the festival at their tipping point really opened a lot of doors for us, relative to booking the festival in subsequent years.
Is there one moment from the 2008 festival that sticks out in your mind? Why?
My dear friend Francis Allen, who passed away in 2017, was a huge Future Islands fan. We were watching the show together and he turned to me, hugged me, and said with his dry wit, “I think you’re onto something.” We both had tears in our eyes. Joyful tears.
I’ll never forget that moment.