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Thursday, May 3, 2012

An Explosion of Art and Music with Tigerbird, Atlas, and Flight of Ideas

Throwback: Atlas performs at my birthday party in 2009 

It's been almost a week since the final Tigerbird art expo of the semester, and I still can't get over how awesome it was.  I swore I'd update the blog whenever I experience a memorable, incredible night on the scene, and that evening definitely fit into this category!

Being the ridiculous person that I am, I arrived at the house for the expo long before anyone else showed up.  As the third in a series of great monthly community art and music showcases, I knew I would be treated to a house full of original artwork, photography, and sculpture by an ever-changing group of local young artists, and once again, I was not disappointed.  Room after room featured stunning and thought-provoking creations, most never-before-seen by the public.  Being an art lover, it was simply magnificent!

Since the showcase fell on the same night as the ever-popular Twilight Criterium, there were concerns that no one else would really show up, but luckily a crowd arrived just in time for the bands and wordsmiths to begin rockin' the house!  First up was a spoken word artist (whose name unfortunately escapes me).  Sharing his often insightful poetry with us as a band set the mood in the background, we all adopted the appropriate coffeehouse manner for this type of performance and snapped as he finished. Then it was time for Flight of Ideas, a quite talented rap duo.  The rap scene is one I haven't really seen much of here in Athens, but apparently, I've been missing out.  These guys were brilliant!  Their lyrics dug far deeper than those of the rap artists you hear on the radio, and everyone in the crowd enjoyed their performance immensely.

Next on the makeshift stage was a very old favorite of mine, Atlas.  Longtime readers of the blog might remember these musicians making sweet and haunting melodies at my birthday party way back in 2009.  Hearkening back to their old style, they played song after beautiful song during what turned out to be their farewell performance.  Then, in a touching tribute to their start as Athens musicians, they finished with "Black Gold," one of my favorites of their old tunes.  I have to admit, I got a bit emotional during their performance, remembering the times when I sat with them on the Myers Quad so many years ago as they crafted this very song.  I just love it when music goes full circle!  As they ended, singer Parker announced that he would be off to California soon where I am sure great things will follow for him. And as for the remaining members of the band?  Well, they all regrouped as the next act, Tigerbird!

Now, you may not yet have heard of Tigerbird, but over the past few months, they've been carving out a place for themselves in the scene in a very unique way.  Debuting at the first of these art expos a couple of months ago, they've already gathered together a bit of a following, and these fans are certainly well-deserved.  With a soulful, soft and sometimes jazzy sound, their tunes range from originals to uniquely arranged covers, and their a-capella style singing is often quite incredible.  During their set at the showcase, the crowd leapt up and began dancing wildly, with gleeful abandon.  Always a fun sight to see!  Then this particular show became even more awesome than usual when, after being encored, all of the multi-talented band members switched up instruments and mics and launched into an open mic rap set and jam session.  Amazing rappers seemed to appear out of thin air as various members of the audience took to the stage and shared their inspired craft.  It was just such a cool experience!  This is the true underground scene of Athens that I've been dying to be a part of again.

It was, without a doubt, a crazy and wonderful night.  Wishing you too could have been there? It seems these awesome art and music showcases will start back up in August with the new school year, and I'll definitely let you all know when the next one is happening.  Indeed, here's to nights like these that make us fall in love with the Athens scene all over again!

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