AthFest Day 2: review + photos

This article continues my writeup of AthFest, an Athens festival held each year to benefit Athfest Educates, a nonprofit that promotes arts and music education in Clarke County public schools.

Saturday was a bit hectic–there was intermittent rain throughout the day and this threw off the scheduling pretty badly at a few venues.

I didn’t make it out till the evening, and the first band I caught was Quiet Hounds at the Georgia Theatre. They played the first song in animal masks (apparently that’s their schtick, as I saw they had shirts for sale with a fox mask on them). I figured that had to get pretty hot underneath the stage lights (though it was nearly completely dark for all of the first song), and as I predicted, they quickly ripped them off and threw them aside. They really impressed me a lot–I loved the harmonica and horns.

I headed over to Live Wire Athens expecting to see The Georgia Flood, but due to the rain, Zoogma, one of the day’s outdoor stage headliners, had to reschedule and move indoors. The place was absolutely packed. I was really impressed with the venue’s sound technicians, as they had to really rush to get everything ready for the unexpected performance. Electronic music isn’t really my thing, but I found them surprisingly enjoyable, I loved the beat. Apparently the last time they played at Live Wire was also a rescheduling due to unforeseen events when the Georgia Theatre burned down in 2009.

Had a bit of chaos for the next hour or so as I struggled to find a venue that was running on time! Finally made it over to Caledonia Lounge for The Powder Room. They were enjoyable, if a bit hard for my taste. The drummer was awesome.

Briefly stopped by the Georgia Theatre to catch The Districts, who were pretty good. It was very crowded and I didn’t stay long enough to hear much, but I did like what I heard.

Very briefly stopped by the Georgia Theatre’s rooftop for Muuy Biien, but it was so packed that it was pretty uncomfortable and I didn’t stay long. There was a mosh pit forming by the stage and the crowd was incredibly active, couldn’t come close enough to get even a moderately decent photo.

I caught most of Lingua Franca‘s set at 40 Watt. She had a good stage presence and the crowd seemed to enjoy the set a lot. I had to laugh when she instructed everyone to “go fucking nuts, but an adult, contained nuts.” Some of her lyrics seemed to run together a bit (to be honest, I’m impressed when any rappers are able to enunciate properly at all because I know everything I said would be a blur at those speeds!). DJ Reindeer Games, a popular Athens DJ, was on stage with her and did a nice job with the beats.

of Montreal, Saturday’s headliner was up next. The place was packed–they often sell out when they’re in Athens. I’ve seen them four times now and I’m still honestly not sure if I like their music or not, I never can remember it afterwards because the rest of the show is so trippy and unusual that the music is really an aside and the real draw is the presentation.

I stopped by the Booty Boyz on the Georgia Theatre’s rooftop afterwards, mostly because they play there every Saturday during the summer and it was never really clear what type of event it was from the posters. Turns out it’s three guys playing current pop and rap hits, good to know.

More photos after the jump!

(photo by Blaze Looney)