Wieuca concert

Will Ingram, lead vocalist and guitarist for genre-bending rock band Wieuca, performs a song during the opening set for the 23rd AthFest Music and Arts Festival on Friday night. (Photo/Julian Alexander)

Despite the sun beating down on both the band and the audience with in 90-degree weather, Wieuca opened the 23rd annual AthFest Arts and Music Festival with a jam-heavy set of rock-n-roll.

Drummer Rob Smith paused between songs to thank the crowd for showing up to the festival.

“Thank y’all for being out here, we know it’s hot,” Smith said. “And we know that … a lot of y’all probably have jobs, too. We don’t.”

The genre-bending band started off the night with a mixture of punk-rock, psych-rock and a little bit of rapping tossed in the mix. Will Ingram, the lead vocalist and guitarist, switched between the guitar and the keyboard to mix up the music.

At one point, Ingram completely abandoned his guitar to perform what he announced as “the keyboard song,” during which he alternated between rapping and playing the keyboard — a change from the heavy rock-n-roll that preceded the song.

After a few more head-bobbers, Wieuca paused as Ingram announced their next song that was “new new.”

“This is about a man who is too woke for his trailer park community,” Ingram said. “And he’s concerned about his masculinity.”

Ingram cracked open a can of beer to perform the fun but slower-paced song, which told the story of a man who didn’t know how to deal with his wife being the main provider for the family.

Natalie Mies, 22, from Alpharetta, Georgia, is a friend of the band and heard its new song about masculinity when Ingram performed it during a solo set on the Georgia Theatre rooftop a few nights ago.

“He did that song, and then he brought it back for this show, which was cool,” Mies said. “I hope that they keep it around, it’s a fun song.”

Cassidy Thornton, 21, from Warner Robins, Georgia, is also friends with band members and said that this performance brought a lot more energy than other performances she’s seen. They usually play at night, so the 5 p.m. performance was different but fun to watch.

Wieuca set the stage for a long, music-and-art-filled weekend with energy and passion. Headliner Walden will close out day one of AthFest on Friday night at 9:15 p.m.

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