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The Sound of (Live) Music

The Lowcountry music scene is set to the perfect tune.

Story By Michaela Satterfield

While listening to music on the radio or through a stream is certainly an enjoyable experience, it doesn’t quite compare to talented musicians performing live on stage. You no longer just hear your favorite songs, you also feel them. When the “all clear” signal finally comes, celebrate in style by attending a live music performance. We are blessed to have a wide range of live music hot spots here in the Lowcountry. Here are our favorites. Warm up those vocals and polish those dancing shoes – we dare you to dance and sing along.

Star of the Show

Mid Island (Hilton Head Island) 

Just a short drive from the shore, you’ll find the life of the party upstairs at Poseidon’s Rooftop Bar. Face the music of dueling pianos or take a line dancing lesson to get rid of your two left feet – the sunset or starlight view off the rooftop is hard to beat. If you find you don’t have any rhythm, let the professionals show you how it’s done at the award-winning Arts Center of Coastal Carolina. Musicals and artist tributes are just a couple of the performances you’ll come across. Afterwards, quench your thirst while listening to live music at World of Beer.

Top acts: Deas Guyz, The Chiggers, Dueling Pianos Show, Stee and The Ear Candy Band, Jacob and The Good People

Beats near the Beach

The South End (Hilton Head Island)

If jamming out by the ocean is more your style, let the waves set the rhythm at a seaside bar or restaurant. You won’t have to check the calendar before going to the Tiki Hut — they always have live music, best enjoyed after a game of sand volleyball with a fruity cocktail in hand. Nearby, the ocean breeze carries music off the deck of Big Bamboo Café, where you can order a custom burger. Check out a live performance at SoundWaves on Lagoon Road. Let your dog join the fun at pet-friendly Hurricane Bar on the Palmetto Bay Marina or dance the night away at Ruby Lee’s South. Wild Wing Café is a great place to catch a live show on weekends. For the late night crowd, The Boardroom is a great place to see local rock bands. For jazz lovers, The Jazz Corner in The Village at Wexford is considered one of the top jazz venues in the country.

Top acts: Groove Town Assault, Pretty Darn, Bobby Magyarosi, Gwen Yvette and TC Soul, Target the Band, The Nice Guys, Ben Lewis, Cranford Hollow, Adam Martin, Johnny Breeze, John Brackett Trio, CornBreD, The Beagles

Timeless Tunes

Old Town (Bluffton)

Visiting Old Town is like taking a step back in time with historical homes housing everything from cafes to art galleries. You won’t just hear the same old songs, though, so stop by Old Town Dispensary for some acoustic music paired with food and drinks to satisfy your cravings. You’ll come across musical acts from our neck of the woods and across the country at Roasting Room, so buy a ticket and claim a bar stool before choosing from a large selection of bourbons. If you’re extra hungry, grab a burger and house-made ice cream at Fat Pattie’s, then groove to some old school classics and modern day jams as you chow down. End the day with a drink and live music at Calhoun Street Tavern or Corks Wine Company.

Top acts: Victor Solis, Cory Cunningham, Jason LaPorte, Ellie Stewart, Heavy Honey, the Whitley Deputy Band

Stroll & Sway

Waterfront Park (Beaufort)

Take a stroll along the park and you’re bound to be pulled into a restaurant by the live music at some point. Step on the outdoor deck at Panini’s on the Waterfront to enjoy a drink and appetizer while you take in the tunes. Luther’s Rare & Well Done and Q on Bay also offer live entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays. Plums is your stop if you’re looking for variety – from country to old school and everything in between. A live DJ spins dance music until 2 a.m. on some nights.

Top acts: Debbie McDaniel Band, Ember City, Donnie Polk, the Vic Varner & Thom Chambers Duo

Hot spots out of town


Savannah Civic Center

Jazz’d Tapas Bar

The Wormhole

Congress Street Social Club

Savannah Smiles Dueling Pianos


Music Farm

Pour House

Charleston Music Hall


North Charleston Coliseum


Colonial Life Arena

Tin Roof

The Senate

Le Cafe Jazz

New Brookland Tavern


The Radio Room

The Spinning Jenny

The Velo Fellow

Swanson’s Warehouse



Jack Rabbits

1904 Music Hall

Blue Jay Listening Room

Dos Gatos

The Volstead