Standing in the middle of The Star Bar on a
Saturday night, I honestly had no clue how to open this review.
I mean, I was having a great time, and enjoying the music but
how could I convey that without my words coming off as ironic?
But letís step back for a moment and see how we got to this
You see, I heard Ceiling Fan were coming to play in Atlanta.
I like Ceiling Fan: theyíre one of my long time favorite Athens
bands and I havenít seen them in a long, long time. Furthermore,
once I looked at The Star Barís schedule, I quickly realized
that Ceiling Fanís slightly geeky pop music didnít really belong
on the same bill with the headliners, the hard rocking Gargantua.
Therefore, I really wanted to go the show, if only because I
could envision a situation in which this very nice band was
being heckled by some very upset metalheads. In short, I wanted
to support the troops, so to speak.
Anyway, when we reached The Star Bar that night, an unknown
(and unbilled) first band was playing. I quickly ascertained
that they were called The Enigmatics, and after watching a couple
of songs, I wasnít really sure what to make of them. I suppose
you could say they were sort of a nu metal band with lots of
power chords and screaming vocals. And, from what I heard, they
played competently enough. However, that wasnít what I found
interesting about this band. Instead, I was totally distracted
by certain membersí looks.
I guess you might think from that sentence that I was standing
in the middle of the Star Bar drooling or something. But no,
it was instead the mismatch of imagery that I was faced with.
For instance, the lead singer had the dyed black hair shaved
on the side that one might expect from Sisters of Mercy circa
1986. O.K., Iím good with the mid-80s thing. On the other hand,
one of the other musicians had on a silver lame see-through
shirt. And I found these disparate styles intriguing and funny
and distracting. However, I have to confess that once I noticed
the visuals, I donít remember a damn thing about the music on
Anyway, after The Enigmatics left the stage, I moved closer
to the front of the Star Bar, in order to support the band I
had really come to see: Ceiling Fan. As Iíve stated before,
I really like their blend of new wave geekiness combined with
clever wordplay and an apparent appreciation for multiple musical
styles. Theyíre a bouncy happy band that makes you want to dance
and sing. Furthermore, from the various musical interludes in
the songs as well as the different styles they play, you can
tell that the three members of this band are exceedingly talented
musicians who appreciate music for its own sake without being
hemmed in by what they think they ought to do.
On this evening, I wasnít disappointed at all by Ceiling Fanís
set. They played many of the older songs I recognized (such
as Iím Boring and a couple of others that I donít know
the names of). And they quickly appeared to win over the slightly
skeptical crowd: by the middle of their set even the hardcore
metalheads were bouncing their heads in appreciation, especially
to the Ben Sprakerís occasionally blistering guitar riffs. But
the person who struck me that night was the bassist, who carried
most of the melodies and certainly combined with the drums to
drive everything along. It may have been because of the somewhat
bass-heavy sound mix, but I definitely had a new appreciation
for his skills after this set. Anyway, to top it everything
off, they played Princeís (I will) Never Take the Place of
Your Man which holds the dubious distinction of being the
only Prince song I really like. In short, it was a great set
which went over very well. And, at some point, I look forward
to a new release from these guys.
Finally Gargantua took the stage. Ah Gargantua. Iíve seen Gargantua
before, and I thought they were quite entertaining in a hardcore
old-time hard rock kind of way, which takes me back to the days
of Motorhead and Black Sabbath and bands like that. I mean,
itís not what Iíll listen to at home or anything, but in concert
with a bunch of people around you who are enjoying it, itís
fun. I supposed it may be an age thing: I personally believe
that everyone of a certain age has an inner metalhead (and I
also think thatís a good thing).
Anyway, as I said above, Gargantua took the stage and performed
exactly as they ought to, to an apparent legion of appreciative
fans. And I stood in The Star Bar and enjoyed myself and the
music in a completely unironic sense whilst they played. And
man, I had a good time.