Photo Credit: Gabe Vodicka
For the second year in a row, the Breakfast of Champions day party, hosted by New West and Normaltown Records, was a real hit. Word must’ve gotten around that free tacos and beer were being slung, because there was a sizeable crowd in attendance as long as I was present.
After accompanying the always endearing Ruby Kendrick for a few songs, Christian Lee Hutson brought what he called his “parade of bummer hits” about growing up, getting sober, and things going terribly wrong. Something of an amalgam between Mark Oliver Everett of Eels and Hank Williams, Hutson’s croon was especially exceptionally palpable on his heartbreaker tune “No Apologies Please.”
The Georgia Theatre rooftop was a great place to start the evening again, this time in a more intimate show with Sehrmann. An eclectic rock group that formed in Athens in January and is led by Gresham Cash (who performed previously as Gresham’s Disco and Cedar Waxwing), the band creates a dance-y synthesis of indie, psychedelic, grunge and folk. Standing in the front row, the mix sounded noisier than usual, masking Cash’s voice at times. Back by the rooftop bar, I gleefully found the mix that I was more familiar with and stayed there for the rest of the set.
From the thick smell of dude-sweat to the garbage water that leaked all over my shoes halfway through Ruby the Rabbitfoot’s set, Caledonia’s fourth annual Dirty Athens day party lived up to its name.
Co Co ri Co was the first big highlight of the day, with a catchy-as-hell, fun performance. I suspect those who were disappointed by Reptar’s main stage set on Friday (and by all accounts, that seems to be a lot of people) would have appreciated this performance a lot more. Judging by the crowd’s positive reaction, this is the kind of avant-garde dance-rock people are looking for out of Athens right now.
Although their sound at the Theatre was bassier than usual, Roadkill Ghost Choir ripped through a set of songs culled from their forthcoming LP, In Tongues, due later this summer. The band managed to produce dark sounds with a ton of reverb with the help of Dead Confederate keysman John Watkins. Roadkill also offered a stripped down (but still electric) cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire,” from Born in the USA. I unabashedly love that song, and while Roadkill’s cover was passable, it was still just too bright for the room.
Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones
The post-work Friday evening start to AthFest always brings out an interesting mix of office workers, undergraduates back in town for the weekend and scowling townies looking for the next best place to down a beer. When I finally made it downtown to Pulaski Street a bit before 9 p.m., I poked my head into a packed Flicker Bar and saw no familiar faces other than a few favorite bartenders preparing themselves for the next hour of serving as the “Reptar sidebar.”
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.
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