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



FRI JUL 28 | 10 PM

When Lil Jon asked everyone “let me see you get crunk, let me see you get buck, let me see you tear the MF club on up,” Duke Deuce happily obliged. Diving deep into a genre Rick Rubin once complimented as “completely unmusical,” Deuce busted out with his second single, Crunk Ain’t Dead. It didn’t seem like it was, but if anyone doubted it, Lil Jon and producer Juicy J gave it a remix and then it really blew up. His debut LP, Duke Nukem, hit No. 3 on the Billboard Heatseeker chart. Unlike the full-throated hollering of beef over repetitive beats, DD has an unexpectedly mellow flow for a crunk rapper. He even…sings a bit on his single Memphis Massacre, which doesn’t sound like one, but the lyrics reveal more. His hardcore cred was solidified early, but recent work shows what no one saw coming, a crunk rapper with range. Plus, that is a Motorhead shirt he’s wearing. All good. 



SAT JUL 29 | 6 PM

A straight-ahead rock band at a straight-ahead rock club on a hot summer Saturday night in ultra-friendly Savannah is about as reliable as the sunrise or a Honda four-cylinder starting up in the morning. Rosatoi (say ‘rose-ah-twah’) step on stage with two Les Paul-slingers, indicating a large guitar sound. They’re not always out front, but that restraint pays off when they start to soar. That’s when you let the beer flow and the accidental bumping into people you coincidentally find attractive in front of the stage begins. The original songs are solid, and these boys can play with enthusiasm and crowd engagement. They’ll also drop a cover here and there, and if you want to know who they like and who inspires them, their popular live version of The Killers Mr. Brightside tells you all you need to know. 



SAT JUL 29 | 7 PM

Starting out 40 years ago, Bon Jovi caught on with the MTV-fueled hair metal craze in 1986 with the release of their third album, Slippery When Wet. The songs were a cut above the typical Aqua Net-drenched posers sporting horrifying levels of neon garments. The undeniable pop hooks sent the record soaring to a ridiculous 20 million sales. The follow-up, New Jersey, sold 10 million. After a wild 10-year ride, grunge murdered glam, but Bon Jovi shifted their sound proportionately to their age. By blending in a little country, they added new fans and were huge again by the mid ‘00s. Jon aging well didn’t hurt. It’s a different vibe than they started with, as it should be, growing with the tastes of the massive audience that helped them sell 120 million records. Slippery When Wet are at it 20 years themselves, and with 1900 shows under their belt, they are absolute experts at emulating the sound and feel of the real thing.



SAT JUL 29 | 8 PM

The former resident comic at Laughing Skull in Atlanta, Isabella does not exhibit some of the typical traits of many comedians. He doesn’t seem miserable, self-loathing, or disdainful of all things. To the contrary, he seems like he’s having a ball. Whether on stage with strong storytelling humor, or when making video content to promote himself, his level of self-deprecation is just right. He can also surprise an audience with a rapid-fire joke delivery that ends with the equivalent of screeching tires, shattering glass, bowling pins falling, and a lone scream. All that in a moment of blue, before uproarious laughter hits when the delayed response ends. That kind of audience control comes with working it and perfecting it.




West Virginia natives Eric Carter and Danny Hutchens, friends since age 7, left for Athens and the increased opportunities to play music. Play they did, and over 25 years they built a Southern rock band that didn’t get commercially huge, but did earn huge respect. After a 10-year hiatus, they regrouped and released more solid music. Hutchens tragically passed away in 2021, far too young at 56. Carter and Bloodkin soldiered on, and the final record made with Hutchens, the acclaimed 15-song double LP Black Market Tango, gives the band a lot to work with. Bloodkin is known for strong songwriting, evocative lyrics, and an undeniable Southern soul. Despite the unfillable void, the band continues to pay respect to their lost mate, and to the audience that has supported them for decades.

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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