Misnomer

Misnomer, a nine-piece instramental group, performs at the Hull Street Stage, attracting a large crowd on day 2 of AthFest in Athens, Georgia on Saturday, June 22, 2019. Festival-goers could enjoy food, music, activities, and an art market. (Photo/Caroline Barnes, https://carolinembarnes.wixsite.com/photography)

Even before the show began, the audience cheered during Misnomer’s sound checks and run-throughs. Not quite a jazz band nor a typical indie or rock, Misnomer brought their own sound to the Hull Street Stage and kept the crowd moving.

Beginning five minutes early, the nine-piece group filled the stage with six members lined up playing brass instruments up front and three members playing keyboard, bass and drums in the back. As the set began, people quickly filled up the tent and eventually had to spill out to the streets to listen.

Misnomer’s sound is hard to pin down into one genre: some songs had heavy percussion and standout solos from the saxophone or trumpet — reminiscent of a jazz band — while others were slower and had a more funk-inspired sound led by the keyboard. Solos were played by almost all of the instruments on stage, but no matter which instrument was loudest or most noticeable, all the instruments worked together cohesively.

The band is from Athens, with several members having previously played for the University of Georgia’s Redcoat Marching Band. Elise Tallent, 22, from Rome, Georgia, is a recent UGA graduate who played in the Redcoats with some of Misnomer’s members.

“It seems like every show they perform is like a big Redcoat Band reunion,” Tallent said. “There’s a lot of us at their shows that still support them.”

The marching band influence is seen most obviously with the brass instruments, yet the group seamlessly blends those sounds with funk, jazz and more.

Omar Villanueva, 32, from Athens, Georgia, came to hear Misnomer after hearing about them from a friend. Having never heard them before, he enjoyed the “neo-culture music mix” of the instruments.

No matter the tone of the song, the crowd was actively engaged with the music. Some attendees swayed to the rhythm, others nodded their heads and a few danced freely up front, including Club Crawl performer Linqua Franqa. Whenever one of Misnomer’s group members played a solo, the crowd and the other members hyped him up and cheered, creating an energetic but warm environment.

After playing their last song, the crowd shouted for one more and the band delivered. The group closed out the set with a groovy song, which included with a tempo change to a faster beat, that ended the show on a high note.

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