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Friday, December 3, 2010

And so it goes: Deaf Judges' final show with Bambara and Gift Horse

Purple fingers. Frozen. Searing pain. But sometimes even frostbite is worth it.

Truth be told, it seems that I have a penchant for attending Bambara shows in the throes of some wild illness or absurd medical problem. Remember that time I had swine flu? This time it just might be internal bleeding (and mild frostbite)... but no matter my ailment, this band manages to cure it all with their mad awesome skills every time. Indeed, I could write hundreds of pages on the righteous and rad rocking of Bambara (and probably have at this point), but I'll try to keep it short this time. Really, though, this band's music never ceases to transport me to an alternate universe. The chords, the yelling, the beats, the noise... I just can't get enough of their sound! And I'm not alone. They nearly blew the heads off my two friends who had never seen them before. Oh, these guys will always be among my top favorites!

Minutes later, Gift Horse set foot onstage to give us a bit of a softer take on the rock. Much more subdued than their Athfest show, this set featured a video of a classical composer projected on the wall behind them, quite like the very first show of theirs that I saw way back in the day. I've also gotta say that I just loved the basist's eyeless Mickey Mouse tee. Hey, I can't help it. I'm a sucker for unique fashions!

As the night crept beyond the midnight hour, it was Deaf Judges turn for their last hurrah. One of Athens' favorite hip hop/rap groups and winner of the Flagpole Athens Music Award in that category several years running, it could have been something of a tearful farewell. That not how the Judges wanted to go out, though! These guys have made a name for themselves with their insane antics and their beyond clever lyrics. Repetition really isn't their style. They've got wit down to an art form. I think one of the members said it best when, as the microphone crackled with static, he said that their words were so hot, they were blowing up the mic. Oh yeah!

These guys started off the night wearing sunglasses, bandanas, and hard hats, and that was only the beginning! One of the rappers hopped down into the middle of the crowd and dropped some lyrics right there as the fans danced around him. Then, as the band rapped its way through their tunes including a few blasts from the past, the members began throwing out what they called artifacts: old tees, signed records, and more. And the prizes just kept coming! Near the end of their set, the crowd got a hold of the bright Teddy Bear piƱata that had hung over us throughout the show. Violently exuberant, the fans quickly dismembered the bear which rained candy all over the floor. One enthused crowd member even insisted on wearing the bear's skin as a hat as the Judges finished their set. As the fans bobbed and bounced, the Judges rapped through some of the most popular songs of the nineties before giving us one last taste of their original tunes. And then, it was over. What a show! Though the members will continue to share the beat through their other musical projects, Deaf Judges will undoubtably be missed!

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