Friday, June 1, 2012

ACRN Lobsterfest 2012 / Day One / May 31 / Secret Show

By: Hannah Cook, Editorial Director
Photo Credit: Hannah Cook

The super secret show opening up Lobsterfest 2012 made me feel like a proud momma. It boasted just how supportive the ACRN community is. Lobsters--old, new and middle aged--shuffled into the venue that is undoubtedly too small to be hosting shows. But we made it work, shoving full bands in the corner, leaving them little room to move around. The space, though certainly limiting and probably frustrating for the bands, just sort of brings us a little closer together. We were practically forced into embraces and we were alright with it.

It was weird starting a show when most families are sitting down to dinner, but punk music was our dinner last night.

Athens’ Mom’s Weekend was first to experience the detrimental yet special (I’d like to think) setup at the Fern Gully. The kick drum kept sliding down the hill that was the wooden floor in the slanting stage area, but with the help of some friends, they got that problem figured out (despite the scratches on the floor that look like the well in The Ring). The duo played some messy punk music with a purpose. Paul Lampley yelled politically-charged messages into the mic (if they weren’t politically-charged they were about his bandmate’s cat). The two, much louder than themselves, drew a solid crowd and started off the weekend on the right foot.

Some new faces took the Fern Gully…erm…stage next. Dave Buker and the Historians, a delightful Columbus five-piece, played indie tunes that took many different shapes, anything from folky to poppy to ballad-y. Dave Buker himself was a fine gentlemen glimmering with heart-felt emotion through his lyrics and demeanor. He and his bandmates, mostly multi-instrumentalists, switched instrument duties more than once throughout their set, proving the band’s dynamic chemistry. They’re most certainly welcome back to Athens any time they please.

The familiar and beloved Emily and the Complexes took the stage last to play what was perhaps their best set yet. The four-piece, albeit missing its original bassist and playing with a fill-in (with a Hello Kitty bass strap), manned the limited space like the versatile and talented musicians they are. Frontman Tyler Verhagen, in all his man-pony tail glory, poured his heart onto his sleeve without all that sap one would expect, but more with an earnest fervor. They, once again, captured the crowd and made us wish they’d never stop playing.

But alas, it was time to move on to The Union for the first official night of Lobsterfest 2012.

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