Review By Mike Gerry
Photos By John McNicholas
The month of May in Atlanta ended with a bang on Saturday, May 30th. The day started off with the Candler Park Music and Food Festival and their lineup featuring the likes of J Roddy Watson & The Business, Shovels & Rope, and the Drive-By Truckers among others. But the music didn’t stop in Atlanta at Candler Park.
The official after party occurred on the other side of town at one of Atlanta’s best venues, Terminal West at King Plow. The lineup was stacked with 4 bands, some of Athens’ and Atlanta’s best up and coming artists including one of the best live bands around, the headliner Family and Friends.
The night started off beautifully with the quite young Faye Webster and her band. While Faye may not even be able to drink legally yet, there is no denying this singer songwriter is already on her way to being the next big thing. Just listening to her music, you would think you are listening to a seasoned veteran, not one that should be preparing for an ACT exam.
Yet here she is, a singer songwriter writing songs steeped in folk and Americana. The songs are mature, and when the first big notes come from this tiny girl, you are immediately sucked in. As the sold out crowd stumbled in from Candler Park, Faye Webster’s presence automatically commanded the crowd’s attention. On a hot summer night like Saturday night, Faye’s songs are the perfect listening for the ears and proved to be a great opener for the night. This old soul is one to follow.
Once the second band, City Mouse, started up, the crowd had packed in nicely and were ready to continue the dancing started at Candler Park. And dancing they did.
City Mouse is another hot up and coming band from the Atlanta folk scene. Having just released their debut EP, Joy of Life, this 3 piece made sure to grab the crowd’s attention starting out with their upbeat track, “Mary”, from the EP.
City Mouse is a folk outfit with roots in Americana and bluegrass playing instruments such as the banjo, stand up base, fiddle, harmonica, and guitar. The harmonies are tight, usually switching lead vocals between Brian Revels and Michael Hudgins. With violin/ bass player Jenna Mobley lending the girl vocals to the 3 piece harmonies, she adds the perfect touch to a foot stomping good time.
The energy in the room had kicked up another notch with City Mouse on and only continued as each band came up for their set. The crowd was ready for a great time time and no matter opener or headliner, all of these bands brought it.
The third band up was Monsoon from indie hotbed Athens, GA. This time there was no folk music, it was time for a change in the room to prepare for what Family and Friends was going to bring.
Monsoon are punk rock. This three piece band could rock the sweatiest of small venues, or carry their sound to the very back of the huge festivals. Led by vocalist Sienna Chandler’s delivery, power punk was on display at it’s finest at Terminal West. Playing stand out tracks from their 2015 debut release, Ride A’Rolla, Monsoon had the fists in the air pumping out tracks about gory vampires and beyond while giving ode to their love of Japanese culture. This group rocked T-West and all that was left was for Family and Friends to kick up to that final gear.
Monsoon’s punk rock may have seemed out of place in a line up full of folk, but if you know anything about Family and Friends, it all makes sense. While F&F are a family band at it’s core making folk rock, their energy on stage is that of any punk band.
Family and Friends are a seven piece band from Athens with two drummers, multiple instruments and harmonies all around. Their energy is infectious, making it impossible not to have a great time at one of their shows. Their songs are sing a longs about love and more. Playing songs from their album Love You Mean It and more, the crowd was there to continue the party, and that’s exactly what they got on this Atlanta Saturday night.
The singing, dancing, hand clapping, and foot stomping all led up to the perfect show closer with Family and Friends playing the hit “Love, and Other Drugs” leading into the crowd shaking it like a Polaroid picture. The whole place was at a complete high with this family band banging out Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” After all, what could be a better closer in Atlanta than some Outkast? The party had hit overdrive and no one wanted Family and Friends to quit playing. But alas, the party continued well into the night around Atlanta with the town leaving on a concert high.