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  GARGANTUA w/ Ceiling Fan and The Enigmatics  
  The Star Bar  
  Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA  
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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 point.

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 the whole.

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.

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