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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Athfest 2013: A stormy but awesome grand finale with Lera Lynn and Dangfly!

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013 
 Lera Lynn

Going to Athfest Sunday every year is like savoring a few sweet bites of dessert after a very filling meal.  That afternoon, I headed downtown to catch a couple bands I knew would not disappoint.  The first, Dangfly!, I had discovered during my forays into the thick internet jungle of local band websites, and I knew after sampling their online tunes that this band was one I just had to see.  Their quality rock entered my ears as I stepped over to the Hull Street Stage.  Fiddle and trumpet sounds soon joined the mix, and I've gotta say, I was just loving it!  Not much later, Betsy Franck, a singer whose powerful voice I've raved about ever since my first Athfest, stepped up to play a tune with the band.  What a combination!  The crowd, too, was fully enjoying the show, and one little girl up front was even air guitaring to the songs as if her life depended on it.  It was all just so good!

Heading back down to the Pulaski Stage, I weaved my way through the Sunday afternoon Athfest-goers, most of whom seemed to be with their families.  It's so awesome to see all these kids growing up with live music!  Seating myself in the shaded wristband area beside the stage, I saw a bit of Bloodkin's southern rock set and just had to smile as I watched one guy in the crowd dancing exuberantly to the music.

A while later, it was time for yet another musician I've heard and loved during Athfests past, Lera Lynn!  This singer always knows how to rock, and her strength of tune knows no bounds. Although I was totally pumped to see her, I couldn't help but experience a bit of trepidation as storm clouds rolled in overhead.  People who've been on the scene for a couple of years will remember that the last time she played Pulaski Stage, her tunes were punctuated by a lighting strike that hit a local restaurant just a few yards away.  Sure enough, it soon began to rain on her Athfest 2013 set, but nothing could stop her band this time around.  Wind rustled through her hair like it was meant to happen as the band rocked through the storm, the pattering rain melding beautifully with their sweet, twangy sound.  Despite the raindrops, the crowd refused to seek shelter, not willing to miss a second of their tunes.  Cheering on the crowd for being such incredible fans, Lera Lynn declared "you guys deserve some whiskey" as she and the band launched into the second half of their set. And wow, their songs just kept getting better and better.  No one has a voice like hers!  As the rain slowly eased away, members of the crowd began to groove.  Among them, a couple beside the stage started swing dancing and a little girl wearing pink headphones and holding a banana, went spinning across the sidewalk in time with the music.  Young and old alike, the people of Athens weren't going to let a little thing like rain stop them from basking in the beauty and joy of Lera Lynn's set.

It was truly a perfect finish for Athfest 2013!

For all of our massive coverage of Athfest 2013, from preparation guides to articles on some of the best featured bands and shows, click here! More entries on all the bands and madness of the festival will be posted daily, so be sure to check back often. Plus, soon you'll be able to check out our show footage and Athfest vlogs up on the Echoreyn of Athens YouTube channel as well!

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