5 Off The Grid Venues for Live Music
While Greenville has become nationally known for the Arts and restaurants, the music scene has stayed Off The Grid for some time. Competing with towns like Charlotte, Asheville and Atlanta can be difficult, and we do see national and large regional acts playing at “The Well” or Peace Center.
There is a vibrant music scene here however, if you just take a moment to look. Talented musicians play original music in this town every night, and they are dying for you to come see them.
Here are five venues in the Upstate that you should start paying attention to in order to find great local musicians or tomorrow’s household names.
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Located on the West End, Smiley’s Acoustic café offers live music 6 nights a week for FREE! There is never a cover charge to hear what Smiley’s has in store for you. Local legend Charles Hedgepath plays weekly, Mondays are open mic nights, and Wednesdays are "Live Band Karaoke" nights. Come for the food, but stay for the music.
Genres: Americana, Bluegrass, Blues, Country, Folk, Jam Band, Roots Music, Singer-Songwriter
Past Acts: Derek Trucks, Merl Saunders, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Dumpstaphunk with Ivan Neville
Situated minutes from downtown and just off I-385, Gottrocks has brought high quality music to the area for over 15 years. You can usually find live music 5 nights a week, with a mix of local and traveling performers. There are open mic nights for those looking to chase a dream, and plenty of opportunities to have a great time.
You can find IPA on Poinsett Highway between the Main Street area and Cherrydale. The stage is available six nights a week (but Saturday shows must end by midnight). Keep an eye on their calendar, where you never know who might come into town!
Genres: Alternative, Hardcore, Hip Hop, Indie, Post Punk, Punk, Rock. No Acoustic
The Radio Room, the world’s best dive bar, is not the place to go if you are looking for singer-songwriters or acoustic melodies. With the low ceilings and small space, it just gets too loud. What you will find is a mix of local and regional acts that have the potential to blow you away. With music every Wednesday-Sunday, you never know who you might see, like the recent event by $amson who brought hip hop and other genres of music together on one stage. Acts like Shovels & Rope have come through before becoming national acts. Located on Pleasantburg Road, keep an eye out, because if you don’t see the sign, you just might miss it.
The Spinning Jenny is not only the largest venue on our list, it’s the newest, and the only one outside of Greenville. Located in Greer, the venue “has a fascinating and varied past. Originally constructed as a grocery store, it has housed a feed and seed, roller skating rink, wrestling rink, heavy metal music room, Opry house, and is now, at last, a Leisure Center and Music Hall.” The current calendar offers Jim Lauderdale and Susto coming on different nights in May. The venue also offers “Dance Nights,” where you receive a lesson and dinner before the dance floor opens for the evening.