Whether you went to AthFest and got to see the performances in person or you sadly had to miss out on the fun, you can still get the low down on what happened this weekend with this "best of" recap. With hundreds of performances throughout the three days, it's difficult to choose the top artists. Here are five performances worth reading about.
Wrenn wowed festival-goers with her signature playful stage presence and hodgepodge of jazz, folk and retro-pop. The mix of heavy aesthetic elements — like her now familiar flower-covered keyboard — and bubbly song choices set the tone for a fun performance that had the crowd bouncing, dancing and clapping along throughout.
Simply put, Friday’s performance proves that Wrenn — who has said her motto is "Fake it ‘til you no longer fake it" — has no need to fake anything. The variety of fast and slow-paced songs, the unfaltering beat and heavily emphasized jazz-pop tone offered a more refined, full sound than those performed at last year’s AthFest, leaving audiences eager for her next show.
The slow-changing colored lights and deep fog set a dreamy ambience for the show — one true to the sentiment of Mothers.
As typical of the band’s sound, these songs featured slow, lulling melodies, coupled with intervals of fast-paced guitar. The crowd responded to both energies, from stillness and slow swaying to full-body dancing.
Athens proved just how receptive it was when Mothers played “Lockjaw,” a clear crowd favorite, as fans lurched to the jolting rhythms and sang back the elegiac lyrics.
The garage rock band with a distinctively southern feel, drove much of the crowd into a frenzy.
Toilet paper, eyeglasses and empty beer cans were all being thrown around the 40 Watt Club. The toilet paper hung from the ceiling and it was impossible to tell if the pools of liquid on the floor were spilled beer or sweat from people dancing.
The concert achieved absolute bedlam when the Black Lips performed Bad Kids, one of its most popular songs, as much of the crowd erupted into a mosh pit and more toilet paper rolls flew through the air.
The Hot Hotty-Hots
From the opening number, a snappy swing selection, through some of the slower, more soulful tunes like “Stormy Weather,” the music had the audience ready to either settle in with a glass of brandy or kick-up their heels in ragtime dance.
Not to be outdone, each instrumentalist — playing sax, tuba, trombone, piano, guitar and drums respectively — had their turn performing featured solos, all of which were delightful, entertaining and astonishingly well-played.
Parker Gispert’s soft-toned indie rock performance at the Georgia Theatre on Saturday was an intimate affair, featuring quietly powerful vocals and amazing guitar skills. He created a pleasant new variation on the pounding, wickedly loud sound typical of the lead singer and guitarist for The Whigs, the renowned American garage-rock band from Athens.
While it was a pleasure to hear older work, it was even better to hear new songs including “What’s the Point if There’s Not One” and “Soon Comes Fast,” an end-of-an-era style song about not wanting to grow up and another which references aliens, Star Trek and Madden’s Holy Roller.