A year ago we lived in Anderson but I was spending a lot of time wandering around Greenville while my son was down the street getting ed-um-a-cated in first grade.  One day I saw a poster downtown for an event and instantly knew that this was something we had to attend.

The event was Freakcycle and was to be held at The Artistry to raise money for the Greenville Humane Society.  It featured “New York City rock & roll, honky tonk swingers”, “Greenville’s own pickers & grinners”, and “local sideshow & burlesque spectaculars”. It also advertised that your tickets could be purchased at a discount if you arrived on your bicycle. 

At the time I had never heard of The Artistry, did not recognize the names of any bands listed on the poster, and knew for certain that we were not about to pedal ourselves from Anderson to Greenville to save six dollars.  What I did know, however, was that this looked like one heck of a good time and that we needed to check this thing out.  I told Chris about the event, we arranged a babysitter for that particular Saturday evening, and we got ourselves ready for a fun Saturday night in Greenville.

And then we stayed home.

Sometime late Saturday afternoon on February 11, 2012 Ivan intervened in our plans.  Originally he was excited about a crazy Saturday night with Chris’s 19 year old cousin. Somewhere along the way during a fun, family Saturday afternoon, he changed his mind. “Daddy, I think you and Ms. Chris should stay home so we can have a family movie night.” Naturally, this was accompanied by the face of a five-year-old that no human with a functioning blood pumper can say no to.  We canceled the babysitter, made popcorn and said, “Maybe next year”.

Ladies and gentleman, “next year” is upon us and we are going to Freakcycle tonight, dammit. Even better, we know where we are going and who we are going to see and have zero doubts that we are in for nothing less than an amazingly entertaining evening.  

Let us start with the venue… The Artistry is totally unique. One part art gallery, one part ironworking shop, one part warehouse, The Artistry defines eclectic.  It is the perfect venue for something as eccentric and original as Freakcycle.  In the last year we have visited The Artistry for First Friday open house events and a company Christmas party for a business that we did not work for and we have had a great time on every trip.  Anybody that likes art, metal, creativity, or innovative people should definitely have The Artistry on their radar of places to visit.

The Artistry - 12 Andrews St.
So what are we going to listen to once we are inside The Artistry for Freakcycle 2013? The sound of hipsters rubbing their goatees while they look at art and say “hmmmmm”? Absolutely not. The Artistry is not that kind of art gallery and Freakcycle is not that kind of event. The aforementioned “New York City rock & roll, honky tonk swingers” will return as the event’s headliners.  They are Izzy and the Catastrophics and from the looks of things they bring a party sound that an event called Freakcycle demands.  I checked out their website last year and was sold on them instantly and we are stoked that they will be back this year to show us what we missed.

Also appearing this year is Darby Wilcox and the Peep Show. Have I ever mentioned Darby Wilcox? You know, our friend, neighbor, amazingly talented musician, etc. etc.?  Yeah, I thought so.  At any rate, she is performing at Freakcycle and will be going all out with a full band and we cannot wait to see her.  We have seen Darby solo and with one or two others plenty of times but I think the full-band-aspect is going to bring out a side of her music that we have never seen and we are excited to see what happens.

What else is there, you ask? How about a burlesque show? Evelyn DeVere of Carnivalesque in Charleston will return to show us what we missed during family movie night last February.  As if that is not enough for us guys, Cirque Spin Tribe of Greenville will also be in attendance. I visited their website and from the looks of things my best description of their art starts with “hot chicks with hula-hoops”.  Both of these acts sound like a perfect fit for an event like Freakcycle and promise to be wildly entertaining, as far as I am concerned.

What about dinner? Surely you like to eat on a Friday night, right? Well, here is the clincher… this year Freakcycle will feature a food truck outside during the event.  Not just any food truck, mind you, but Asada.  One half of Greenville’s food truck community will be in attendance serving up the best tacos and quesadillas that this town has to offer.  I never thought it would be possible but I think more highly of Asada’s food truck delicacies more than most of Greenville’s brick and mortar food serving businesses.  They are doing something special in the kitchen and the fact that their kitchen is on four wheels makes what they are doing even more impressive.

Did I mention that all of this is happening in the interest of the Greenville Humane Society? Art, music, sideshows, and great food all in the name of helping out cute furry things… and tickets are only $10. I cannot see any reason to be anywhere else tonight…

… unless your five-year-old makes a really pitiful face and then we can give you a pass. It is only valid until next year, though, and then I expect you to plan better, like we have.