Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart brings his Irresponsible Tour to the Township Auditorium on Sunday.

Wednesday 26

Folk-rocker Brandi Carlile will perform at the Township Auditorium today, touring in support of her new album By The Way, I Forgive You. After taking a detour into heavier guitar-rock territory on her last album, Carlile settled into a more intimate, acoustic groove on her new album, scaling back her sound (with the notable exception of the orchestral backing on “The Joke”) and garnering comparisons to the work of country-rock chanteuse Emmylou Harris. Showtime is 8 p.m., tickets run from $36-$76, and you can get more info at — Vincent Harris [Update: This event is canceled.]

Think of the most iconic photos of President Barack Obama — the commander in chief on the floor holding aloft a visiting toddler, or bending at the waist so a young black boy can touch his hair, or whispering playfully in wife Michelle’s ear, or monitoring the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden — and there’s a good chance Pete Souza is behind them. The University of South Carolina’s College of Information and Communications brings Souza, who served as White House Chief Photographer for all eight years of Obama’s term, to speak for free at 7 p.m. at the W.W. Hootie Johnson Performance Hall inside the Darla Moore School of Business. For more, visit — Eva Moore

Thursday 26

Portraiture is most often viewed through a fairly limited lens — that of a flat representation of a person, be it photo or some other visual medium, printed or applied to canvas. Brittany M. Watkins does not accept this view. Her new exhibition at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art, AFFECT-ED, BEING, takes a broad, contemporary approach to portraiture, including not just paintings but video-, performance-, and installation-based works. After all, not all of us are shallow enough for a static, 2-D representation to represent our depth. Tonight, the center celebrates the exhibition with an artist talk (6 p.m.) and reception (7-9 p.m.). Head to for more info. — Jordan Lawrence

Free Times appreciates Jasper. A community such as ours, which continues to get richer and richer when it comes to the productivity of its local artists, needs multiple publications with multiple viewpoints digging in and dissecting that work. Free Times also appreciates that Jasper knows how to throw a party, as it will tonight, with the rescheduled release of its fall issue, leaning on the music of local group The Witness Marks, readings from the latest issue of its Fall Lines literary compendium, and $10 bottomless cups to keep you well ... hydrated. For more on the 6 p.m. event at Stormwater Studios, go to — Jordan Lawrence

We’ve all got stories. From the cavemen gathered around the fire regaling each other with how big the saber-toothed tiger that ate Larry was to modern storytelling open mics like the Carolina Archive of Storytellng’s Can You Relate? Event at The War Mouth, the craft of communing together through the power of narrative is what provides the thread of our society. That and, uh, beer, which The War Mouth has, too. Anyway, if you got a relatable story (or just want to hear a few), head to the Cottontown watering hole at 8 p.m. The event is free to attend. More info available at — Kyle Petersen

Friday 28

West Columbia’s Rhythm on the River is one of those instances where the music maybe isn’t as important as the setting. Indistinct but affable, the Going Commando Band, which headlines the opening evening of the series’ fall run, hangs loosely between country and classic rock from decades past, and that’s likely to do just fine for many of the folks who show up here as they lay back in the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater gazing at the beautiful Congaree behind the players. This week’s food truck is The Haute Dog Lady. Event starts at 6 p.m. and is free. Head to for more info. — Jordan Lawrence

Saturday 29

Keep your lederhosen and dirndls freshly laundered because Oktoberfest season is just getting cranked up here in the Soda City. Columbia Craft Brewing Company’s Oktoberfest begins at 11 a.m. and features their Festbier and German food from The Wurst Wagen. The experience of being in a German biergarten will be augmented by their spacious outdoor area and music from Katie Leitner, and the Mountain Top Polka Band, so wear your dancing schuhe. Find more information at — April Blake

Soggy and salty doesn’t typically sound appetizing, but those are the key characteristics of one of South Carolina’s finest culinary delicacies, the boiled peanut. The annual Palmetto Peanut Boil, an outdoor festival and cooking competition on the 2900 block of Devine Street, celebrates the water-logged legume in all of its glory as folks go head-to-head with their own recipes while live music and entertainment for the little ones make it a party. Festivities kick off at 11 a.m. and all proceeds go to the Animal Mission. Free to attend. Head to to find out more. — Kyle Petersen

Outdoor festivals with live music are a dime a dozen this time of year, but Palmetto Place Palooza stands out both because it’s a big fundraiser for the nonprofit Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter and because it takes advantage of one of the prettiest spots in Columbia, the historic Robert Mills House and Gardens. Popular local roots-rock act the Kenny George Band headlines the entertainment, but the food trucks and bouncy house don’t hurt either. Gates open at 2 p.m.; tickets are $15 (kids 12 and under are free) and lawn chairs and blankets are recommended. Go to for more info. — Kyle Petersen

Sunday 30

It’s somewhat hard to believe, given that he seems to be in just about every movie and television show that exists these days, but comedian, actor and author Kevin Hart will indeed be doing standup at Township Auditorium, bringing his Irresponsible Tour to town just as his new film, Night School, hits theaters. Hart has somehow not reached the point of oversaturation, remaining a down-to-Earth, charming and, above all, funny performer. Showtime is 7 p.m., and tickets range from $62-$132. For more info, visit — Vincent Harris

It’s officially fall now, which means you should get your ass out of the air conditioning and go take a hike. Join Congaree Riverkeeper and the South Carolina Wildlife Federation for a guided two-mile hike along the relatively new Bates Ferry Trail at Congaree National Park from 10 a.m. to noon. Riverkeeper Bill Stangler will discuss indigenous plants and animals, and the river that is the lifeblood of South Carolina’s only national park. All slots for this particular hike were reserved as Free Times went to press, but stay tuned for future guided hikes — or just haul yourself to the park visitors center and see what other hikes they recommend.

Eva Moore

Monday 1

Did you head out to last week’s Cola Comedy Con? Or did you just hear from a friend about the packed rooms and ample laughs that the event brought in its second year? Either way, if you want to experience more of what the presenting Soda City Stand Up collective is about, a great way to do that is to attend its popular weekly open mic at New Brookland Tavern. Admission to the 8:30 p.m. event is free ($5 if your’re under 21). Go to to find out more. — Jordan Lawrence

Tuesday 2

It’ll be a feast of literature and music at Pearlz Oyster Bar as Blue Note Poetry welcomes two spoken word performers to the stage. The music will come from Jordyn Fox (aka Raw Beauty), who will sing her poems accompanied by the Vasaboo Group, and she’ll be joined by poet and novelist Derek Berry, the co-founder of literary nonprofit The Unspoken Word, whose latest novel is titled Heathens & Liars of Lickskillet County. The event is free and begins at 7:30 p.m. Visit for more info.

— Vincent Harris

Wednesday 3

Flipping through the titles available to stream through HBO recently, I noticed last year’s Blade Runner 2049, the sequel offered last year by the great director Denis Villeneuve. It bothered me thinking about the people who will inevitably click to watch it, having never experienced Ridley Scott’s original 1982 sci-fi-noir masterpiece. Don’t be that person. Go to the Nickelodeon Theatre and see Blade Runner: The Final Cut, the version released in 2007 that sticks closest to Scott’s artistic vision. The 6:30 p.m. screening, presented in partnership with the American Institute of Architects, will feature a special introduction from AIA member Doug Quackenbush. Tickets cost $11. More info available at — Jordan Lawrence  

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