Where Opener Parker Gispert offered a more soft-toned indie rock set, headliners Elf Power provided pure power and full sound from start to finish. Both young and old audience members jammed along to the nostalgic sound of the band’s psychedelic-rock music and great harmonies, dancing and singing along to every song.
Elf Power, members of the Athens-based musical collective “Elephant 6 Recording Company,” played a variety of songs during their set, beginning with “Vainly Clutching at Phantom Limbs”, the title song of the band’s first full-length album, and followed by the surf-rock-sounding “Will My Feet Still Carry Me Home,” “The Arrow Flies Close”, from 1997’s When the Red King Comes, and ending with the punk-tinged audience favorite “Everlasting Scream”, from 2002’s Creatures.
The audience loved this nod to the band’s long history and the slow maturation of arrangements, lyrics and instrumentation throughout the performance.
In keeping with the nostalgic feel of the evening, the band paid tribute to singer David Bowie in a rendition of his glam-rock song “Queen Bitch” that made the crowd laugh, dance and sing along. Elf Power also paid its respects to Ross Shapiro, member of another Athens-originated band, The Glands, by performing the song “When I Laugh.” Excellent lead vocals and well-met background harmonies made this memorium a hit.
Drummer Peter Alvanos had an outstanding performance, offering power and loud, deliberate energy to every song, and keyboardist Laura Carter stole the show with her talent and skill playing not only the keys, but also the zanzithophone, the maracas and guitar. Guitarist and lead vocalist Andrew Rieger also had a great performance and showcased his gritty, passionate vocals and eclectic songs well.
The entire show — even the “in memory of” bits — had an energetic, rich vibe and the chemistry of the bandmates translated well to the audience, creating an exciting backdrop for the music that made concert-goers feel welcome to interact among themselves as well as with those on stage, something they certainly took advantage of. Several audience members made requests for songs and longtime fans of the band did not shy away from partying like it was 1994 all over again.