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Kayla Berrie performs at the Hull Street stage at the AthFest Music & Arts Festival in Athens, Georgia, on Sunday, June 26, 2016. AthFest celebrated it's 20th anniversary this year with a three day weekend of back to back shows. (Photo/Henry Taylor: htaylor@randb.com)

Kayla Berrie's soulful set of love songs drew a large crowd of eager listeners at the Hull Street stage.

Beginning her performance with a mostly instrumental song titled "Hodge Podge," Berrie's saxophone skills shined along with the other musicians on stage.

Even through the all too familiar heat of the day, guests arrived at the stage seemingly curious about the alto singer's unique vocals. Deriving influence from artists such as Sara Bareilles and Kate Nash, Berrie's hold on the crowd continued to increase throughout the performance.

Berrie's experimentation with her vocal range wasn't the only star of the show however. Accompanying her and her saxophone on stage were a bass player, guitarist and trumpet player who successfully carried out a strong stage presence as well.

Love songs including "Make You Mine Tango," "My Heart" and "Inspiration" kept the jolly vibes flowing and brought more attention from guests that were passing by. Several times throughout each song, Berrie allowed for solos from both the trumpet player and the baritone saxophonist.

What appeared to be the highlight of the show from the crowd's apparent enthusiasm was Berrie's electrifying cover of Prince's "Kiss." With Berrie's cooing vocals over the famous bass and saxophone melody of the song, guests were able to truly get into the music with subtle sways and small instances of footwork.

As the end of the show grew near, it was hard to believe this had been her first AthFest performance. Her smooth comfortability with not only her own sound but also the musicians performing her proved her natural talent at owning the stage.

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(2) comments

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