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Monday, September 6, 2010

Owning the stage: Tealvox, Athens, and Holdcell

Oh, city of Athens, why must you give me such unbelievable shows? Ever since my return to the music scene last week, I've struggled not to write about all of the amazing bands I've seen. You see, I try not to write too much about the same bands which is why I never mentioned the sheer awesomeness of Aman Amun + his live band or why I never even hinted about the fact that Bambara's newest song left me speechless for a whole minute. After tonight's show,though, I can't help myself. I just have to cave in and tell you about Saturday's Tealvox/Athens/Holdcell show.

Tealvox set the bar incredibly high with their polished rock sound as the night began. There's no doubt about it, these guys have definitely stepped up their game since I last saw them. Stage presence was the order of the night, and Cody, Phil, Michael, and Andy had it in droves. So impressive! It always amazes me that these guys continue to be so much better than bands years older than them. Best of all, they're working on some brand new songs. If you haven't checked them out yet, trust me, you need to give their tunes a listen.

Then it was Athens band's turn to rock. Talk about stage presence... I've never seen a band with as much energy as these guys have! The crowd
was with them the whole time, and they had their fans going crazy. There's no question that these kids belong on the stage. Following the success of their last music video for their tune "She Don't Even Know," they gave us a new pure rock version of the song to pump up the crowd before filming a brand new music video for their original song "Animals." I've gotta say, their originals are definitely my favorites. During the shoot, they had a giant inflatable monkey soaring over the crowd and dancing along to the tune in the arms of some of the fans. It was a madhouse! Then, to top off their set, they attempted to destroy an electric guitar onstage. It took some effort and a bit of jumping, but they finally succeeded in killing it, like so many kings of rock before them.

Now I have to admit I'm always skeptical of bands I've never seen before, especially bands that try to hold their own after two awesome first acts. Holdcell, though, knew just how to do it. Giving us some of the hardest of hard rock, those lucky audience members who stayed through the end were rewarded with a super loud but brilliant show. Hair was flying everywhere, and that was just from the Athens band whose members were rocking out to Holdcell in the front row. Word has it, this band is a big influence for the Athens guys, and I can see why. Their sound was all-encompassing. As far as stage presence goes, these guys were masters of the art. Emblazoned with a Holdcell tattoo, drummer Chuck Smith spun and threw his drumsticks in the air keeping the beat while Lee and Evan Hackney gave us their all on guitar and bass. So good! I would definitely love to see them again. What a show!

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