The World Famous restaurant and bar in downtown Athens hosted four music performances on Sunday night to close out the Fourth of July weekend, including Leisure Service, Paradise Montage, Sea Moss, and Sludge Country.
The curtains separating the bar from the stage side of the World Famous were closed just before the first show, turning the loud, busy atmosphere into a more private venue.
Multicolored lights similar to the reflections made from sunlight hitting water stood out on the walls, and chandeliers made of rusted metal hung from the ceiling.
The night started off at 9 p.m. with local artist Leisure Service, the name Michael Pierce uses when he mixes his techno beats live.
The intimate crowd bobbed and swayed along to the beats, with mason jars of mixed drinks in their hands and French fries on the tables in front of them.
Pierce didn’t interact with the crowd, instead intently focused in his mixing equipment.
The synthetic beats of Leisure Service were reminiscent of what one might imagine the soundtrack during an alien abduction would be, but it worked well in the quirky atmosphere of the World Famous.
The distorted sounds were catchy, albeit odd. At times, the noises incorporated into the beats were aquatic in nature, sounding like waves or the bubbly breaths of a sea creature. Other times, the building sounds seemed like something that might play during the climax of a horror movie — sharp and eerie.
The set ended to loud whoops from audience members and a strong round of applause.
Atlanta band Paradise Montage’s set was full of psych-rock and alternative music. The electronic drums particularly stood out, tying the other instruments together nicely.
Though the band’s songs weren’t as long as one might expect, each still received a rousing round of applause from the small audience.
The band’s verses were reminiscent of an especially melodic spoken word performance, while the choruses were sung in a more conventional manner.
A few enthusiastic audience members danced near the front of the stage to Paradise Montage’s more soothing tunes.
The band’s last song of the night featured a more electronic sound, with distorted vocals and a faster beat.
Sea Moss, a two-member psychedelic rock group from Portland, Oregon, was the third performance of the night. It played on the floor rather than the stage, allowing audience members to get close to the members.
Some audience members put in earplugs as the performance began due to the loud sounds of the drum during the set.
Zach D’Agostino played the drums while Noa Ver mixed the music live and contributed to the band’s more metal vocals.
The audience headbanged and danced along to the band’s raw, angry sound. One audience member even shook the band members’ hands and insisted the small crowd give them another round of applause in between songs.
Sludge Country, a group originally formed at Clemson University, ended the night with a solely instrumental alternative set. The three-man band created a distinct sound with haunting, abstract beats.
All the members sat on the floor of the stage as they performed, each with their own mixing equipment, as well as one member who also had a few unique instruments to play live.
The audience was at its calmest during Sludge Country’s set, as everyone took a cue from the band and sat to observe the performance.
The show ended exactly when the bar closed at midnight as Sludge Country received a final round of applause.