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Friday, September 24, 2010

With Lights and Screens: Misfortune500, Heypenny, and the Orkids

All photos courtesy of Page Walker

Wow, the luck just keeps on following me! I can't believe how many amazing lineups I've seen since I returned to Athens. This Thursday night was no exception. In fact, I'd say the Orkids/ Misfortune500/ Heypenny show has to be one of my top favorites!

Just after my friend Page and I stepped into the venue I affectionately refer to as my home (the Caledonia, of course!), Heypenny struck their first chord. Now, to be honest, I'd never heard of these guys before, but after this show, I know everyone
here will be buzzing about this Tenessee-based band! Surrounded by tons of TV screens that were cable-linked to their guitars to display digital art in time with their music, this band's show was a visual feast. These experimental indie rockers had a sound and style that could only be compared with kings of the Athens scene, Reptar. Complete with prominent keyboard tones and quite a range of falsetto, Heypenny had a clear sense of fun that permeated the whole room. And wow, their energy was unbelievable too! These guys used the whole stage as their playground, leaping up from their instruments to dance and move as they gave us tune after joyous tune. The next time they come to Athens, I know you'll want to check them out!

Moments later, it was time for Misfortune500 to wow us with their tunes. Now, naturally, I've been dying to see them live ever since I interviewed them about their Popfest show in August, so this was the fulfillment of dreams! And truly, it was. These guys blew my face off with their incredible alt rock sound! Without a doubt, they ruled the genre like no other band I've seen. The whole experience - the rockstar lights, the amazing tunes, the wonderfully dark style - was essentially perfection. Their music made me feel so alive! Honestly, I struggle to find words to describe the sheer awesomeness of it all, and that is something I definitely don't say too often. I was so sure that I would be able to keep from adding to my list of ten local favorites for a while at least, but it seems that I was very wrong. You can bet I'll be seeing Misfortune500 again soon!

Then the Orkids rocked out the night with those ever-exciting dance tunes of theirs and some brand new ones too! And, in a super crazy turn of events, they gave us some hilarious impromptu covers of Ace of Base's The Sign and R. Kelly's I Believe I Can Fly among others as well. The crowd was so into their music that when singer Sandra Gallardo pointed the microphone offstage, the words were clearly heard from every corner of the venue. What a spectacular ending to an unbelievable night!

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