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Monday, June 28, 2010

Athfest 2010: An awards show like no other

Thursday, June 24th, 2010
Flagpole Athens Music Awards Show

I can't believe the past year has come and gone so quickly... It feels like Athfest 2009 just happened and now suddenly it's time for Athfest 2010! Wow, though, if last year's music extravaganza was awesome, this year's was purely unbelievable!

Kicking off this series of unforgettable days was the always amazing Flagpole Athens Music Awards show on Thursday evening. I'm overjoyed to say that this year's equivalent of the Athens Grammys blew me away. What a night!

It all started with a blast of color. As the lights dimmed in the Morton Theatre, bright spotlights hit the disco ball hanging from the ceiling, splashing dots of color all over the walls. At this point, the anticipation was tangible. What was going to happen? How would they open the show this time? We soon got our answer.

In true Athens style, a crowd of performers from Mr. Blank's Carnivale of Black Hearts streamed onto the stage. A man sporting a top hat introduced the show as a bevy of bellydancers balancing swords on their heads danced behind him. On one side of him, a juggler skillfully threw pins into the air and, on the other side, a man on stilts wearing just lace underwear, a vest, and a red top hat moved about wildly and sprinkled those below him with glitter. Another man, standing off to the side, then proceeded to pick up a hammer and pound a nail into his nose. I was nearly speechless with awe and excitement. Only in Athens!

After the insanity died down a bit, the Athens band took their place onstage and rocked it out like I've never seen before. Their short little set was incredible! I don't think there was a single person in the crowd who was unimpressed by their performance. In fact, after people finished shaking their heads incredulously at the sheer awesomeness of the rock, the band got a well-deserved standing ovation. But that wasn't all for this young group of guys. They pretty much owned the night, winning the award for viewers' choice music video too and getting back onstage to tell the crowd about the wonderful Camp Amped program. Wow. Just wow!

But that's not all! Other highlights of the night included Venice is Sinking triumphantly taking home the win for Best Pop Act after being nominated several years in a row, Reptar rockin' the stage after picking up two wins for Upstart of the Year and Best Live Band, and the extraordinary news that the Georgia Theatre will be reborn in 2011. Pure joy!

After all the awards show insanity was over, I headed over to the 40 Watt for the after party and caught a bit of the nice southern rock Roadside Graves was serving to the dancing crowd. Ah yes. The night was simply the best beginning to Athfest that I could have possibly hoped for!

For all of our coverage of Athfest 2010, click here! I'll be blasting you with updates regularly, so be sure to check back often. Also, look out for Athfest concert videos and vlogs, coming soon to!

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