Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones
It was exceptionally hot late Friday afternoon as Dana Swimmer kicked into their set on the Hull Street Stage. The energy was definitely dialed down from the group's usual level, and perhaps we can blame the humidity for that. Regardless, Dana Swimmer did what they do best: craft a solid set of sunny, spacey pop-rock. The crowd was less than enthusiastic, but the band provided plenty of energy. Even singer Jack Blauvelt felt inclined to grab a wireless microphone and run into the crowd to sing.
Shortly after, Athens newbies Family and Friends graced the Pulaski Street Stage in front of a large outdoor crowd. This band shot straight out of nowhere about a year ago, and they are already unstoppable. Their set Friday accomplished the uneasy feat of playing songs of all moods and tempos without boring the crowd at any point. Whether they played a folk jam, a ballad or a drinking song, Family and Friends kept the audience enraptured.
Reptar capped off the outdoor festivities of the day with a set of mostly new songs from their upcoming sophomore effort. Plagued by sound problems, the band seemed tamer than usual, yet they were still able to put on another stellar performance. The new material is even more Talking Heads-ish than usual, and the closing jam “In Through the Eyelids, Out Through the Mouth” was all things Reptar, weird and danceable.
I ended Friday with two bands that are not wholly dissimilar: Muuy Biien and Deep State. Over at Go Bar, Muuy Biien provided a pummeling set, yet I felt underwhelmed by their music. I admire the band's punk ethos, but I can’t help but yearn for them to bring something new to the genre. Though not as blistering, Deep State is a band to watch. Fresh off releasing their Bein’ Mean EP, the band is getting a lot of press, and rightfully so. Deep State is all guitars and frustrated youth, and their live show can’t be missed.