Local Athens band, Mothers, playing a headlining set at the 40 Watt Club as part of the AthFest Music Festival in Athens, Georgia, on Friday, June 24, 2016. Photo/Shubham Kadam

Mothers returned from its tour across Europe, and Athens couldn’t have been more appreciative.

Vocalist and guitarist Kristine Leschper, drummer Matthew Anderegg, guitarist Drew Kirby and bassist Chris Goggans took the stage at 12:30 a.m. at the 40 Watt Club last night. Mothers often plays at the Caledonia Lounge, but the larger venue provided enough space for the growing fans this indie-rock band drew.

The show started softly but raptly, with a solo guitar and vocals from Leschper. Her haunting voice and slow chords captivated the crowd’s attention as she signaled the start of the headlining show. As the end of her soft solo neared, the rest of the band crept on stage to join her and play its song “Fat Chance.”

The slow-changing colored lights and deep fog set a dreamy ambience for the show — one true to the sentiment of Mothers.

As the set progressed, the band continued to play from its album “When You Walk a Long Distance You Are Tired,” including its original songs “Copper Mines,” “Burden of Proof,” and “Lockjaw.”

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. Despite the often somber sentiments and sounds, the audience cheered and clapped energetically after every song.

The band played a cover of the high-energy song “The Heat is On” by Glenn Frey, featured on Beverly Hills Cop 2 as Leschper mentioned. Though not an original, the audience responded just as exuberantly as the rest of the set, moving with the faster paced rhythms.

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.

“I cut out my tongue seeing as yours would speak for the both of us,” Leschper and fans sang to each other for the final lyrics of the song.

Mothers ended on an energetic note, with its final song “No Crying in Baseball” finishing out with heavy guitars. Not one for many words on stage, Leschper thanked the crowd again, and fans were left to glide out of the misty venue back into the night after a successful Mothers show.

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