The Whigs (Main Stage) – Tickets – Georgia Theatre – Athens, GA – June 21st, 2019

The Whigs (Main Stage)

Athfest Club Crawl

The Whigs (Main Stage)

DJ Crowe (Rooftop), FIve Eight (Bridge Stage), Jester (Main Stage), Caulfield (Bridge Stage), Linqua Franqa (Main Stage), Elijah Johnston (Bridge Stage)

Fri · June 21, 2019

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Georgia Theatre

$10.00 - $25.00

This event is 18 and over

The Whigs (Main Stage) - (Set time: 12:00 AM)
The Whigs (Main Stage)
WITH THEIR NEW ALBUM ENJOY THE COMPANY, THE WHIGS HAVE CREATED A RAUCOUS ODE TO ROCK AND ROLL. FROM THE OPENING TRACK, AN EXHILARATING EIGHT-MINUTE MISSION STATEMENT CALLED “STAYING ALIVE,” THE RECORD OFFERS A POWERFUL SONIC RENDERING OF A BAND OPENING UP TO THE DEPTH OF THEIR PAST AND KICKING OPEN THE DOORS TO THEIR FUTURE. BUT MOST OF ALL, THIS IS THE UNDENIABLY ESTABLISHED SOUND OF A BAND AFFIRMING THEIR LEGACY IN THE AMERICAN ROCK AND ROLL PARADIGM.

WHILE THE WHIGS RECORDED THEIR SECOND RECORD MISSION CONTROL AT FAMED SUNSET SOUND STUDIOS IN HOLLYWOOD AND THEIR THIRD RELEASE IN THE DARK IN ATHENS, THE MAKING OF ENJOY THE COMPANY WAS A DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT AFFAIR. THIS TIME THE GROUP SOUGHT THE GUIDANCE OF VETERAN PRODUCER JOHN AGNELLO (DINOSAUR JR, SON VOLT, SONIC YOUTH) AND THE SOLITUDE OF DREAMLAND STUDIOS HOUSED IN A HISTORIC CHURCH IN RURAL WOODSTOCK, NEW YORK. “WE WENT OUT THERE TO RECORD WITHOUT ANY DISTRACTIONS,” BASSIST TIMOTHY DEAUX EXPLAINS. “THERE WERE NO GIRLFRIENDS THERE, NO BARS TO GO OUT TO. IT WAS JUST US AND THE MUSIC. OUR LAST ALBUM FOCUSED ON SOME PRETTY DARK THEMES AND WITH THIS ONE I THINK THERE’S A NEWFOUND SENSE OF OPTIMISM AND PURPOSE. WE DIDN’T MAKE A SUGARY RECORD, BUT I THINK WE ARE HONESTLY FEELING GOOD ABOUT THE BAND AND OUR LIVES AND IT COMES ACROSS IN THE SOUND.”

AS A RESULT, THE WHIGS LATEST FEATURES TEN TRACKS OF PURE CELEBRATORY ROCK AND ROLL FUELED BY THE RHYTHMS OF THE ROAD, THE CLASSIC ALBUMS THAT INSPIRED THEM AND NIGHTS SPENT TOGETHER ON STAGE. “WHEN WE’RE OUT THERE DRIVING FROM SHOW TO SHOW, THAT’S MY FAVORITE TIME TO GET NEW SONG IDEAS,” GISPERT SAYS. “AND THE TRACKS WE EVENTUALLY PICKED FOR THE ALBUM ARE THE ONES THAT WE LOVE PLAYING LIVE.”

THE SONG “GOSPEL” MINES A JOYOUS GUITAR HOOK FOR A TIMELESS FM RADIO FEEL WHILE ANOTHER TRACK “ROCK AND ROLL FOREVER” IS A SPIRITED HARD RIFFING LOVE LETTER TO THE POWER OF PRIMAL ROCK. AND AFTER OPENING WITH THE IMPASSIONED DECLARATION OF RESILIENCE IN “STAYING ALIVE,” THE RECORD PERFECTLY BOOKENDS WITH AN EQUALLY ARDENT PROCLAMATION ENTITLED “OURS.” THE SONG BEGINS WITH REFLECTIVE VOCALS OVER A LONE GUITAR. THEN, LIKE SOME LOST TRACK FROM A BELOVED VINYL CLASSIC, THE MUSIC BUILDS, DRUMS EXPLODING ACCOMPANIED BY A VOLLEY OF POWER CHORDS. “THAT SONG WAS WRITTEN ABOUT A CHILD WHOSE PARENTS WERE TEACHING HIM HOW TO SHARE,” GISPERT EXPLAINS. “IT’S NOT MINE OR YOURS, BUT OURS. OUR BAND, OUR MUSIC – IT’S OPEN TO ANYBODY.”
DJ Crowe (Rooftop) - (Set time: 12:00 AM)
DJ crowe is an Athens local and co-founder of the Make America Goth Again series of goth nights. Expect to dance among the graves to the latest and greatest Industrial, Goth, Synthwave, Witch House and genre bending weirdness!
FIve Eight (Bridge Stage) - (Set time: 11:30 PM)
FIve Eight (Bridge Stage)
"Once upon a time there was a dream...they would not let the dream die...."

Five Eight is a four piece rock band from Athens, GA, though sometimes we were a three piece and sometimes as many as five people on-stage. It varies with the weather and people’s medications.

The band’s roots go back many years, preceding the advent of Five-Eight by half a decade. The story begins in Hinman Dormitory on the campus of SUNY Binghamton in Upstate New York. The bottom floor of Hinman was populated by so many socially awkward and conversationally maladroit freshmen that the residents had been nicknamed “Jerry’s Kids” by the rest of the student body. Mike Mantione (guitar, vocals) was ambling down the hallway one afternoon when he peeked into a room and saw Dan Horowitz (bass, banjo) sitting on his bed and improvising a half-remembered version of a Ramones song on a battered, atonal acoustic guitar with a pencil for a bridge. “This is the guy,” Mantione apparently thought to himself, “that I want to play music with for thirty or so years.”

Mike and Dan eventually ended up with a handful of other exceptionally talented social misfits in the Binghamton band The Reasonable Men. The Reasonable Men went on to some local infamy as the party-rock band responsible for songs like “What The Fuck’s Wrong With My Brain?”, “Two Fat Ladies”, and “What I Imagined is a Movie by Me.” At the time, Mantione was lead guitar player and did not write songs. However, Mantione experienced a life-changing event when he had a nervous breakdown and was institutionalized for depression and psychosis. His family signed him out of the hospital against the advice of physicians and Mantione resolved to write his way through it. What followed was the first burst of songs like “Dawn of Son Melody,” “Streets of Fear,” and “Behind the Glass Wall”, which would eventually become parts of the Five-Eight repertoire.

The band had planned to move to Brooklyn as the members either graduated or dropped out of college. Dan Horowitz moved to the city and worked a part-time job while taking boxing lessons in Harlem. Mike went home to Long Island for what was supposed to be a few months, but entered a serious depression and never made it to the city. Dan Farnz, the band’s other principle songwriter, impulsively followed his brother to Athens, GA, where his elder sibling was attending law school, taking all of the band’s equipment with him.

Dan Horowitz, Mike Mantione and then-drummer Mike Palmatier ended up following Farnz to Athens, ostensibly to get their equipment back, but eventually the whole band ended up living in the same small house that is shown in the movie ‘Athens, GA: Inside Out” as the one under which Dexter Romwebber lived (in the crawlspace). (Dexter had moved out, by then, of course.)

Dan Farnz left the band and the name was changed from The Reasonable Men to Five-Eight. Mike Palmatier eventually left the band as well. Local drummer Patrick Ferguson joined, first as a temporary replacement when Palmatier was greviously injured in a workplace accident at a lumber yard, then permanently when Palmatier moved back up north. The band put out two cassette-only releases (‘Passive-Aggressive’ and ‘Inflatable Sense of Self’) and began touring heavily in the Southeast with occasional trips to play in NYC.

Five-Eight’s furious live shows and growing regional following caught the attention of Sky Records, with whom they inked a deal in 1990. The band traveled to San Francisco to record ‘I Learned Shut-Up’ at Brilliant Studios with producer Norm Kerner (American Music Club, Angry Samoans). The record was released in 1992 and the band toured heavily behind it, playing over 200 shows before taking a week off to record the follow-up EP ‘The Angriest Man.’

In the weeks prior to recording sessions for ‘The Angriest Man,’ the band had been joined onstage by New Orleans guitarist Sean Dunn. Dunn, a member of the Atlanta band The Blood Poets, had befriended drummer Ferguson outside The Point, a nightclub in the Little Five Points neighborhood of Atlanta. Dunn suggested that he might jump up on stage with the band the next time they played Atlanta. Ferguson said he thought this might be a fun idea. Dunn then told Horowitz and Mantione that he was going to play a few songs with them in at back-to-back shows in Athens and Atlanta. After the Atlanta show, Sean loaded his amplifier into Five-Eight’s van and joined them for a run down to Mississippi and Louisiana, telling each bandmember that other bandmembers had okayed this decision. At their sold-out show at Jimmy’s in New Orleans, drummer Fred LeBlanc (Dash Rip Rock, Cowboy Mouth) came up to the band after the show, pointed at Sean and said “That guy stays. That worked.” It was about eighteen months later that the rest of the band realized that Sean had essentially conned his way into the band and had become an indispensible member of the team.

Five-Eight and Sky Records released ‘The Angriest Man’ in 1993 and ‘Weirdo’ in 1994, while the band played more than 200 shows a year and extensively touring the United States. Not long after the release of ‘Weirdo,’ Sky Records was acquired by Atlanta hip-hop label Ichiban. Relations between the band and the label went south fairly quickly.

In late 1994, the band left Ichiban/Sky and eventually signed to former Columbia President (and protagonist of the tell-all record industry expose “Hit Men”) Walter Yetnikoff’s Velvel Records. While on Velvel records, Five-Eight recorded ‘Gasolina,’ their most ambitious album yet, produced by Ed Stasium (Talking Heads, The Ramones, pretty much everybody, really). ‘Gasolina’ was released in 1997. Even with the labels stellar pedigree and massive budget, ‘Gasolina’ unfortunately didn’t make a dime. The band continued on its relentless touring schedule until Ferguson announced he was burned out and bored with the whole thing and then quit the band.

Not long after, Dunn also left. Velvel declined to pick up the option on another Five-Eight record. For a brief moment, Five-Eight broke up, then Mantione and Horowitz recruited fellow Binghamtonian Mike Rizzi to play drums.

It was in the wake of this crushing series of disappointments and disillusionments that Five-Eight wrote what is largely believed to be their must artistically complete and most realized album, ‘The Good Nurse’(2000). With his marriage in tatters, his band nearly broken up, close friend and fellow songwriter Graham King undergoing treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Mantione wrote a searing and gorgeous conceptual album about illness, hospitals, dying and broken families. It was celebrated by NPR, Spin Magazine and Alternative Press as Five-Eight’s greatest work.

Five-Eight soldiered on, continuing to tour and write, releasing the self-titled album ‘Five-Eight’ in 2004. Five-Eight refers to the self-titled album as “The Black Album” (a conscious reference to the movie ‘Spinal Tap’), several tracks of which got heavy airplay on the Atlanta Alt-Rock powerhouse station 99X. It was in support of The Black Album that Five-Eight opened for REM on their US tour. It looked for a moment like Five-Eight might finally break through to widespread commercial success.

In 2007, Rizzi took an offer to join The Ghost Hounds, an LA band with a growing cult following, often joined onstage by Slash and other Los Angeles rock royalty. He leapt at the chance and the band approached Ferguson to play drums again. Ferguson joined “for a few shows” and remains with the band to this day. Together, they recorded a new album, with Ferguson recording and producing all the tracks. It was during the recording of this record that Sean Dunn moved back to Athens to rejoin the band. The resulting album ‘Your God is Dead to Me Now’ ended up being one of the band’s favorites and was mentioned favorably by NPR’s ‘All Songs Considered’, as well as by several influential music blogs.

Currently, the band is recording a new album, tentatively entitled “Songs for Saint Jude.” (Saint Jude is the patron saint of lost causes and also figures prominently in the prayers and iconography of Dunn’s hometown of New Orleans.) They are working with ace young producer Richard Salino and recording to tape.
Jester (Main Stage) - (Set time: 10:45 PM)
Jester (Main Stage)
Hailing from Athens, Georgia, Jester is a fresh, new rock band that resembles alternative rock greats like The Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys. They joined together in early 2017 and came out with their new singles “Cool Off” and “Slip Back.” The band has been playing locally in the Athens and Atlanta area for the past year an a half.

The band is comprised of Andrew Wilson (vocals and strings), Tommy Trautwein (vocals, strings, and keys), Clay Milling (tubs), and Hayden Busch (Fender bass).

Jester’s latest EP, Not Coming Home, is out on all streaming services now. The four song compilation portrays the various colors and influences of the members of Jester. The songs range from fun, high energy to emotionally driven rock. Although the songs show diversity the band still stays true to its alternative roots. Jester has songs that any music lover can enjoy, so throw on some Jester and see for yourself why people can’t get enough of this band.
Caulfield (Bridge Stage) - (Set time: 10:15 PM)
Caulfield (Bridge Stage)
Caulfield is a high energy original hip hop band somewhere between punk, back pack and trap creating new sound that they call garage rap.
Linqua Franqa (Main Stage) - (Set time: 9:30 PM)
Linqua Franqa (Main Stage)
LINQUA FRANQA is the hip hop project of Athens, Georgia-based linguist-turned-legislator Mariah Parker, whose passion for social justice and scientific fixation with hip hop language are obvious in the intricate, self-aware rhymes she interweaves with boom bap beats. Parker holds a Master's degree in Linguistics from the University of Georgia, where she now pursues a PhD in Language and Literacy Education. Her lyrics, garnished with haunting neo-soul hooks, tell unflinching tales of chemically-induced heartbreak, reproductive justice, racial politics and feminist swagger, and longtime hip hop heads will hear echoes of nineties New York underground in both her playful vocal delivery and piano-centric, classic R&B-inspired compositions. In the wake of a critically acclaimed first album and narrowly-clinched election to the Athens city council earlier this year, Parker has garnered the attention of CNN, The New York Times, Teen Vogue, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera, Afropunk, Blavity, The Hill, The Root, Impose, Performer Magazine and others for her outspoken commitments to racial and economic justice and her electrifying live performances, which call listeners to self-reflection and critical action in their lives and their communities.
Elijah Johnston (Bridge Stage) - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Elijah Johnston (Bridge Stage)
self-made lo-fi music from Gwinnett county/athens, GA.
Venue Information:
Georgia Theatre
215 N. Lumpkin St
Athens, GA, 30601
http://www.georgiatheatre.com/