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The AthFest Music and Arts Festival hosted indoor shows at Georgia Theatre with Underground Springhouse headlining on Saturday, June 25, 2022, in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Sidney Chansamone, @sid.chansa)

Underground Springhouse, a genre-bending band, headlined the Georgia Theatre on the second night of AthFest to a packed-out venue. Switching between the sounds of twangy country, smooth funk, hard rock and beachy reggae their debut appearance at AthFest followed performances by indie-electronica flutist, Pip the Pansy, and vintage-rock band The Orange Constant. 

The five-piece band is made up of Charlie Haas on rhythm guitar and vocals, Mitch Davidson on lead guitar, Jackson Thompson on bass guitar and vocals, Max Motley on the keyboard, and Jacob Sherwin on drums. Haas and Thompson sang lead vocals on most of the songs, and each member took turns to showcase their talent throughout the set. 

Whether that was with Davis’ blues-style solos, Motley’s soulful electric organ, or Haas’ lighter-than-air vocals, the energy of their performance never once faltered, and the audience was kept on their toes wondering what kind of song would be played next. 

“We've always wanted to play [at AthFest] and it's just never worked out, whether there was someone who was out of town for the summer, or we missed the application deadline,” Haas said. “But we're pumped to finally be doing it after all this time.”

After their first three songs, Underground Springhouse gave a shout out to Nuçi’s Space for their support and invited surprise guests Jade Long and Jessica Thompson of Hotel Fiction onstage. Together, they performed “Something” by the Beatles and “Heart-Shaped Box” by Nirvana.

The band played a combination of covers, such as Umphrey’s McGee’s “Puppet String” and original songs, such as “Wrong Leash” and “Float the Time Away.” They rounded out the performance with their latest single, “I’ll Be Fine— a soulful, southern-rock piece about an adventure that took place in Athens, Georgia. 

The band left the stage when they finished this song, but shortly made their way back for an encore after the crowd chanted “one more song,” over and over. 

“We thought you guys would be too tired for an encore,” Sherwin said, who had been cracking jokes with the audience all night, “I guess we were wrong.” 

Despite the late hour, the audience’s enthusiasm was strong. Concert goers danced and sang along the entire night, and the band fed off of this reaction. By the end of their set, the palpable energy in the room showed that Underground Springhouse knows more than just how to play their instruments, but also how to connect with and excite a crowd.