After making her arrival in the Athens music scene during last year’s AthFest Music & Arts Festival, up-and-comer Wrenn has been straddling the line between big name retro-pop princess and local celebrity. Her performance on the main stage at this year’s AthFest may have propelled her into the realm of the former.
At 7:45 p.m. during her Friday night performance, Wrenn wowed festival-goers with her signature playful stage presence and hodgepodge of jazz, folk and retro-pop. The mix of heavy aesthetic elements — like her now familiar flower-covered keyboard — and bubbly song choices set the tone for a fun performance that had the crowd bouncing, dancing and clapping along throughout.
A variety of instrumentalists — affectionately known as "Wrenn’s boys" — accompanied her in the performance, playing drums, guitar, trombone and trumpet. Each member brought his own energy to the stage, bringing the music to life and adding to the whimsical, entertaining atmosphere typical of a Wrenn show.
One of the most surprising performances of the night was “Spanish Radio” featuring both Wrenn and Chris Padgett, “Hi” co-producer and multi-instrumentalist. The Latin-inspired song provided the perfect backdrop for Wrenn’s powerful dance moves and was an interesting add-in to the rest of the set. Another crowd favorite came in the form of Wrenn’s always-entertaining beatboxing, paired with a powerful guitar solo. Her cover of “Too Close” by Alex Clare offered a nice change of pace from her faster, more upbeat tunes and allowed Wrenn to show off her powerful, bluesy vocals.
Simply put, Friday’s performance proves that Wrenn — who has said her motto is "Fake it ‘til you no longer fake it" — has no need to fake anything. The variety of fast and slow-paced songs, the unfaltering beat and heavily emphasized jazz-pop tone offered a more refined, full sound than those performed at last year’s AthFest, leaving audiences eager for her next show.