THE CONNECT 5: Shows you shouldn't miss this week



FRI JUL 14 | 9 PM

Anthemic, singalong punk rock has a long history, starting with the late 70s Oi! movement in the UK, all the way to current veterans Rancid and a bunch in between. Shehehe (pictured) are keeping that spirit alive with old school anthems with call-and-response, occasional harmonies, and very tight playing. They’ve been at it a while and their modern version has become a signature sound the band is known for. And unlike similar artists, Shehehe pulls it off on recordings, too. They sound amazing and alive, with all the knobs in the right places. The live show, of course, is where it’s at. Mercyland, from Athens, began way back in 1985, but took a hiatus when leader David Barbe joined Bob Mould’s post-Husker Du trio Sugar. That alone should be an untouchable endorsement. Mercyland will remind you of those two trios on the older stuff, but their 2022 comeback We Never Lost a Single Game spreads out to romping, carefree sounds. It’s more pop-oriented than the disciplined chaos of Husker Du, with extra doses of variety throughout. If all this wasn’t enough, local bashers Weather Eye open.


SAT JUL 15 | 8 PM

The self-proclaimed future cult leader goes there again and again, utterly fearless of topic and reaction. She’s come a long way in a short time after her hilarious debut at Laughing Skull in Atlanta two years ago. The sadness of dating was explored with dark and horrifying results, all of which were funny af. Getting high and arguing on Facebook Marketplace about phantom interest in furniture is, in fact, a bad hobby that is difficult to relate to people you’re dating. But you talking about that, if it was you, would not be as funny. Smith will also tell you about being bipolar, when she is and is not a hot mess, the lunacy and insanity of political ads, getting high (again) at work, intriguing uber reviews, and what might be her favorite topic: dead dreams. If hilarious tales of woe are your thing, strap on a Depends and see the side-splitting misery in person.


SAT JUL 15 | 7 PM

Where does one even begin with Elton John’s unbelievably successful career? 31 studio albums, five live albums, 10 soundtracks, three tribute albums (three!!), and an almost uncountable number of hit singles over five decades. With total sales over 300 million records, he’s not only one of the best-selling artists of all time, he’s got to be among the best subjects for a tribute artist. It’s almost a no-brainer. Even if you take away the 30 or so songs everyone knows all the words to, and the millions of fans who love those songs, there’s also the outrageous and flamboyant outfits John was known for in the 70s to work with. ELTON! Live covers all the fabulous bases. New Orleans native Steven Dodd dons the glittered glasses and feathers, with seven highly skilled musicians backing him up, delivering as close to a late-70s/early 80s Elton John show as you’re ever going to get without inventing a time machine. Note: time machines do not exist, so your options are limited.


THUR JUL 20 | 7 PM

Bands performing mostly original material is somewhat rare at Congress Street Social Club, but that venue’s tight confines and amorous atmosphere make it the perfect place for a long-form jam band like Guavatron. They mainly rock the southeast, but they’ve toured beyond with Papadisio, The Heavy Pets and Perpetual Groove. Jam band fans are the obvious audience, and Guavatron seems to make them very happy. Additional forays into danceable rock, heavy funk, unexpected electronica, and plain ol’ rock open the doors to anyone who enjoys guitar, bass, keys and drums. The West Palm Beach foursome play with confidence, led by the intricate guitar work of Adonis Frangiskakis. He’ll noodle away Jerry-style for a while with the best of them, leading his bandmates to improvisational wonders on the fly. So, to answer the questions the band asks of themselves: no, they are not a fruit or a mechanized battle robot fruit from another planet. They sound much better than a battle robot, regardless of origin.


FRI JUL 21 | 10 PM

Reggaeton, the hyper-danceable niche born in Panama, was transferred to Puerto Rico where it completely blew up, assisted by underground club mixtapes that spread throughout the Americas, from the Bronx to Brazil. Angel Y Khriz entered the scene in 2001, with initial songs released in 2002. Reggaeton compilations featuring their singles Fua and De Lao a Lao put them on the map as legit players in the genre. Shit got really real with the release of their full-length Los MVP, which included one of the biggest crossover reggaeton hits, Ven Báilalo. It peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard charts, earning a gold record (and a Latin platinum). Hits kept coming and their follow up LP Showtime reached a pinnacle of pop culture heights when Na de Na was used in Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto IV (the greatest video game ever made). In another impressive win, zillion-dollar movie franchise Fast & Furious selected Muévela as a soundtrack tune. The duo released New Season in 2020, with more of the same booty-shaking sound that make them 20+ year veterans, something as rare as a killer reggaeton show in Savannah.

About The Author

Frank Ricci

Frank Ricci is a freelance writer living in Savannah, Georgia. In his career, he's contributed to many Las Vegas megaresort brands owned by Mandalay Resort Group and Mirage Resorts. He’s also worked with Dell, Root Sports Network, Savannah College of Art and Design, ad agencies in Las Vegas and New York, and a...

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