WELCOME TO Savannah, Rock 'n’ Roll Marathoners! Whether you’re warming up, cooling down, or in the thick of the race, there is plenty of live musical entertainment to fuel your weekend. Bands and artists from across all genres fill Savannah’s clubs every night of the week, and our home team knows how to put on a great show. Plus, The Hostess City is a favorite stop for acts traveling throughout the Southeast. Here are a few sure bets to make yours a marathon to remember.
Mile by mile, runners will be greeted by live bands motivating them to stay the course. This year’s performers include Common Time, Fanfare Band, vintage hot jazz band Sarah Jane & The Blues Notes, The Potomac Accord, Whiskey Kick, vintage surf rockers The Wave Slaves, psych-rockers XuluProphet, and many more.
Forsyth Park welcomes runners and their supporters for a morning and afternoon of entertainment. After the runners take off at 7:30 a.m., bands will hit the stage, welcoming competitors to the finish line until 3:30 p.m. After some cool-downs and hydration, find a spot on the lawn or dash to the front and rock out. Best of all? The Finish Line Festival is open to the public—if you hear that starting gun from the comfort of your bed, if the only run you’re interested in is a beer run, you can hang with the athletes and enjoy the live music spectacle.
Playing Saturday morning in Forsyth Park, Richmond, Virginia’s Sleepwalkers create sunny, up-tempo pop-rock with a touch of vintage flair. The band’s 2014 LP Greenwood Shade boasts hooks and bubbly arrangements that will delight fans of a variety of genres.
Most recently, the band released a Halloween single, “Frankenstein,” an effervescent dance track with contagious hooks and slyly spooky undertones.
Fitz & The Tantrums
After hooking fans with 2009’s Songs for a Break Up, Vol. 1, Fitz & The Tantrums continue to please audiences with a chameleonic sound that centers pulsing beats, addictive rhythms, and infectious hooks.
Founder, frontman, and songwriter Michael Fitzpatrick formed the band after buying an old church organ and penning songs inspired by soul and vintage R&B.
In 2010, they released their first LP, Pickin’ Up the Pieces, leading with the single “Moneygrabber.” The song’s blend of horns, twinkling piano, and a tremendous chorus made it a favorite, and the band performed the cut on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Conan, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
With the release of More Than Just a Dream in 2013, Fitz & The Tantrums dipped their toes into a new-wave sound, weaving a neon-clad element into their soulful style. Single “Out of My League” reached number one on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart, and the perky, whistle-happy “The Walker” followed, hitting number one on the Alternative Songs chart some time after.
Last year, a self-titled album arrived with the glossy dance single “HandClap.” The song has clocked over 65 million streams.
Fitz & The Tantrums’ songs have been featured in television shows like Criminal Minds, Bones, Desperate Housewives, The Vampire Diaries, Shameless, and more. Their music is also recognizable from commercials for New Amsterdam vodka, Wells Fargo, Reebok, Supercuts, and Walmart.
With Fitzpatrick on keyboards and vocals, Noelle Scaggs on co-lead vocals and percussion, James King on saxophone, flute, keyboards, percussion, and guitar, Joseph Karnes on bass guitar, Jeremy Ruzumna on keyboards, and John Wicks on drums and percussion, the group delivers an unforgettable live show that’s perfect for celebrating the completion of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.
Following Fitz and the Tantrums’ performance, local acts will rock out on the main stage until 3:30 p.m.
After the big party in the park, keep it going and head north through the Historic District. Plenty of bars and restaurants have put together parties just for you to celebrate your successes!
Congress Street Social Club
“Social,” as the locals call it, is throwing a post-race bash at their indoor-outdoor space. Reckless Abandon will play live music on the patio while you enjoy a drink and a bite (might we recommend the brisket nachos?). DJ Square One will spin on the patio at night, while Boston reggae band Dubbest takes the stage inside.
Jinx happy hour is a Savannah favorite thanks to great musical entertainment from local country/honky-tonk act Damon & The Shitkickers. Two-step with the best of ‘em, or just find a seat, order up a house special (a shot of Wild Turkey 101 and a PBR tallboy) and enjoy the show.
A stop by The Warehouse will take you down to world-famous River Street. Watch the ships roll in and watch ‘em roll away again before stepping inside for live music from singer-songwriter Eric Britt (2 p.m. to 6 p.m.) and a rollicking set from The Fig Neutrons (8 p.m. to 12p.m). The Warehouse boasts the coldest beer in town and has a full menu.
If the hustle and bustle of post-race downtown is cramping your style, catch a ride over to Coach’s Corner in Thunderbolt for food, booze, and the music of Journey.
Departure is a tribute band that’s been playing the music of the 1980s rock gods for ten years—after a decade, they have mastered the art of flawlessly replicating the Journey live experience.
Look forward to hearing all the hits live and in person starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are hot, so get ‘em in advance at $20 a pop via eventbrite.com.