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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Leading Edge: Ghouls, ghosts, and phantoms, oh my!

Oh, Halloween week. Sure, I've already mentioned all of the spectacular shows that downtown Athens offered its costumed partiers for the actual night of All Hallows Eve, but the week leading up to this spooky holiday was just as amazing!

Last Wednesday night, several old favorites played sets all across town at around the same time. Which band to choose? Well, Leading Edge has been high up on my list of groups to check out for a while now and with Doctor Squid opening for them too, I just knew I had to pick Tasty World Uptown!

Walking onto the dance floor was like entering a whole new realm. We were surrounded by Halloween madness! Right next to me was a guy covered from head to toe in blood. And look over there! That's Hannah Montana and her best friend having a conversation with Draco Malfoy and Cap'n Krunch. The bands, too, were appropriately festooned in a curious array of costumes. Doctor Squid, for instance, featured a giant penguin, a demonic being, a hippie, and a jack-o-lantern. Awesome. As always, they rocked the stage, using their fun-inducing powers to put the whole crazy crowd into a dancing frenzy. Oh wow, the audience was fun to watch! I could hardly keep my eyes off of them. Some of the girls in the front row, clearly longtime fans, even moved in unison in what resembled a choreographed dance to one of the songs. Seriously, I never leave one of Doctor Squid's shows without a smile on my face!

Then, after an impromptu venue-wide cha-cha slide dance party, Leading Edge took the stage. Man, these guys started it off right! Through a cloud of thick greenish fog, Matt the lead singer/ keyboard player appeared, his face obscured by a lovely mask a lá Phantom of the Opera. Ah, phantoms always fill me with such joy! He began the show with a creepy gothic tune that melded into the band's first song, a wild rendition of the Ghostbusters theme. From there, the rest of the band members, adorned in a spectacular variety of ghoulish costumes, leapt straight into a series of their original songs, each totally and wonderfully unique. I still can't figure out how they managed to create such one of a kind musical sounds from the same instruments that I've seen countless other bands use. Very impressive! As they finished with a few more awesome tunes including a Billie Jean cover, I just knew I would have to see them again. Let's hope it happens soon!

Seconds later, my friend Sheila and I were speeding through downtown in hopes of getting to Ciné in time to catch Bambara's set. Tragically, we arrived moments too late, but we were just in time to check out very loud punk band, the Agenda. Truly, pure insanity. These guys had so much energy, my eyes could barely keep up with them. One second the lead singer was lying on the floor; the next, he was divebombing the audience and screaming into the faces of several members of the crowd. The audience got into it as well. One guy, presumably a friend of the band (well, I hope so), bounded onto the singer's back while the guitar player licked the strings of his guitar. The drummer ended the night by toppling his drumset and collapsing behind it. The sight was very nearly indescribable! Wild times, my friends. Wild times.