Aside from Widespread Panic’s epic performances, local and nationally touring bands took on their respective time slots throughout Saturday and Sunday at the 2nd annual Trondossa Music & Arts Festival. An additional installation to this year’s Trondossa was The Home Stage, a side stage for local bands to fill the gaps between Main Stage set up and break down.
Bands on The Home Stage had anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to showcase their talents for those in the crowd willing to make the 150 yard walk across site. These bands included Charleston outfits Josh Roberts and The Hinges, The Reckoning, Schema, Sol Driven Train, She Returns from War, and ROBOTRIO made up of Ross Bogan (Doom Flamingo), Wallace Mullinax, and Jonathan Peace. ROBOTRIO recently released their first single “Space Cadet” ahead of their first festival performance and late night party on Sunday night at Charleston Pour House, which also featured Jake Cinninger, The Royal Horns, and Doom Flamingo bandmate Ryan Stasik.
Three of these groups had the chance to play twice, both Saturday and Sunday. Sol Driven Train, Schema, and The Reckoning all took on double duty for the weekend to fill in the gaps for bands such as The Wood Brothers, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, The Marcus King Band, Caroline Rose, Umphrey’s McGee, and of course Widespread Panic. On Sunday, John Bell kicked it on the stage right, grinning and digging the performance from Rainbow Kitten Surprise. Up-and-coming progressive funk group Schema, comprised of native Charlestonians, had some of the longest playing time at The Home Stage. The group just released their first EP in collaboration with a few other Charleston musicians, confirmed a slot at Big SOMETHING’s The Big What festival, and have been branching out of the lowcountry.
Over on the Main Stage Saturday, The Wood Brothers and Marcus King Band brought Trondossa patrons through some of the best songs of their catalog. By the time Umphrey’s hit at 6:00 p.m. for a 90-minute set, the southern rock Saturday vibe was well-established. It wasn’t until the next day that Umphrey’s delivered a traditional set , complete with a Led Zeppelin cover of “Kashmir” featuring Kanika Moore of Doom Flamingo.
After each night of Widespread Panic’s Trondossa Music & Arts Festival sets, the Charleston Pour House hosted two disco-fused late-night parties. Complete with a disco ball, dynamic lighting, and plenty of musicians who played at Trondossa, Doom Flamingo put on one of the most electric shows at The Pour House to date.
Doom Flamingo is Charleston’s own all-star crew. Started by Charleston resident and Umphrey’s McGee member Ryan Stasik (Bass), Ross Bogan (Keyboard), Stuart White (Drums), Thomas Kenney (Guitar), Kanika Moore (Vocals), and Mike Quinn (Saxophone), Doom has grown exponentially in the past year including the release of an EP and booking a headlining spot at French Broad River Festival. The synthwave sextet proved right away that their year of hard work has grown in amplitude since their May 31, 2018 debut in Charleston.
Performing songs from their most recent EP and more, Doom took on Pour House’s main stage on a ride unlike anything else. The Charleston Pour House crowd witnessed darkwave troughs to dreamwave crests, while the band worked their way around original work from their past year on the grind.
Throughout the show, lead vocalist Kanika Moore would leave the stage to make room for dark synth instrumentation from the guys. Working through guitar and and sax solos, Bogan and Stasik would stick together to slingshot the group back to the light-hearted. The best thing about Doom is their ability to fall effortlessly into sinister darkness and rise ferociously into a tempting dreamland. Doom’s definition of synthwave is both organic and voltaic. Throughout the show, the crowd chanted “DOOOOOOM” leading up to each song and to close it out. It is without a doubt Doom Flamingo will continue to rise.
After the final night of Widespread Panic’s Trondossa Music & Arts Festival set, The Home Stage performers ROBOTRIO put together one of the most stacked lineups The Charleston Pour House has seen. The cover-heavy set encompassed local sit-ins, an original, and an ode to the late-Col. Bruce Hampton.
The night kicked off with local outfit Terraphonics, as members of the headlining act were still returning from Riverfront Park at Trondosaa. With the ending of Terraphonics, ROBOTRIO & Friends took over the stage with little room to spare. From left to right was Ross Bogan (Keys), Ryan Stasik (Bass), Gino Castillo (Percussion), Jonathan Peace (Drums), Wallace Mullinax
(Guitar), Jake Cinninger (Guitar), Dean Mitchell (Sax), Mike Quinn (Sax), Justin Johnson (Trumpet), and finally Kanika Moore (Doom Flamingo) at the front of the stage on vocals.
The band’s set kicked off with a lengthy rendition of “Cisco Kid”, which drew the Trondossa stragglers into a near-capacity Pour House. The War cover led to a heartfelt speech from Bogan thanking Pour House owner, Alex Harris, for letting them create and grow in a place that is accepting of their talents. As divine coincidence would have it, ROBOTRIO’s first show was the day after the Colonel’s passing, and as Bogan recalls, “I swear there was something special in the air. And from that moment on we knew we had to keep this going.” Since then, ROBOTRIO has done nothing but hussle, including the release of their first single “Space Cadet” and hosting their biggest show to date.
With the finale of Trondossa, Ross Bogan and company celebrated Harris’ and Col. Bruce’s birthday (April 30) with “Working on a Building”. For most in attendance, the song saw howling bends and trade-offs from Mullinax and Cinninger, as well as wails from Bogan’s Hammond. With all of the musicians on stage, Pour House staff, and all the regulars, it was a culmination of a scene built since 2002. Between Harris and Pour House staff’s ever-expanding mentality, Col. Bruce’s ideology was commemorated. Pour House was in bliss as everyone celebrated “One of the last great American music clubs,” as Col. Bruce once stated.
The only original of the night came with “I Love You”, followed by an explosive “Billie Cocaine” to follow. For those unfamiliar, it was the lyrics of Eric Clapton’s “Cocaine” on top of the music of “Billie Jean”.“Message From The Meters” turned up next with Charleston legend Bill Wilson up on stage to trade off vocals with Kanika Moore. Alongside Bill Wilson popped out Thomas Kenney (Doom Flamingo, Terraphonics) to give Wallace Mullinax a break next to Cinninger on guitar.
Marvin Gaye’s “Heard It Through the Grapevine” came next, followed by “Bullshit Anthem”, where Stasik explained how his car broke down that morning. He had to push it from a bridge, but “bullshit like that wouldn’t get him down.” To close out the night, and weekend, the 10-piece outfit selected the apt and proper Chicago tune “25 Or 6 to 4” with an extended jam at the end.
Setlist: ROBOTRIO | Charleston Pour House | Charleston SC | 4/28/2019
Set:Cisco Kid > Working on a Building > I Love You > Billie Cocaine > Message From The Meters^ > Heard It Through The Grapevine > Bullshit Anthem > 25 Or 6 to 4
^ w/ Bill Wilson & Thomas Kenney (Doom Flamingo, Terraphonics)
Check out beautiful galleries of photos from the weekend below courtesy of photographer Ellison White.