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Monday, March 14, 2011

The Invisible Hand, some Naked Gods, and Sam Sniper walk into a bar...

Without fail, Athens becomes something of a desolate wasteland of emptiness every Spring Break. Nearly all of the students disappear into their respective hometowns and the music scene collectively makes for the ever-enticing SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. This year, however, those of us in Athens had quite a fine send off for the break in the form of two traveling visitors and our very own Sam Sniper.

Charlottesville, Virginia's the Invisible Hand stepped up to the plate first with a solid soft pop sound and fun, clever lyrics that wove expertly through their tunes. I definitely liked their style. This year's bands seem to all share a common bond of explosive energy, and the Invisible Hand was no exception. At one point, taking a moment from giving each song a bit of an indie feel with his classically sweet voice and rocking the guitar while the rest of the band went wild on their instruments, the lead singer leapt up onto one of the amps in true rockstar form. Nice! Also, at the request of some guys I met at the show, I must mention the sheer awesomeness of the other guitarist's tee. Jurassic Park forever! Man, I wish this band was local. I'd love to catch another show of theirs if I could.

Up next, hailing from Boone, North Carolina were the evocatively-named Naked Gods. A rock band with a definite southern twinge, this group's energy manifested itself most in their singer/harmonica player/ tambourine artist's antics. What a character! The floor of the Farm was literally shaking with the combined enthusiasm of this singer and the band's eager audience. I didn't even know such a thing was possible! Jumping into the crowd, he proceeded to give us the most enthralling show of tambourine usage I've ever seen in my life as he threw it around wildly and smacked it against the mic stand with gusto. Quite a sight, no doubt about it! These out-of-towners sure know how to put on a memorable show.

Local americana-dipped country rockers Sam Sniper finished out the night with an awesome set as always. Their voices and lyrics complement each other so perfectly! This time around, I was familiar enough with their sound to identify a few tune favorites in the mix. I've gotta say, I fully enjoy the songs Please Don't Do That and Comfortable Hypocrisy. Good stuff. What a night that was!