Live Review: Other Sound Festival

Atlanta, GA // October 2, 2010

As evidenced by the name, The Other Sound Festival is not the typical Atlanta festival. For starters, roughly 25 local bands were crammed into just over 12 hours. Spread throughout the Little 5 Points neighborhood, the festival occupied four venues and five stages. Notably, due to the festival’s location and the well-organized schedule, it was easy for attendees to meander through town and catch at least part of any of the sets. Another major difference with Other Sound is the cheap ticket price. The promoters made a conscience decision to not fall into the big sponsor trappings that befall many small fests, but they still managed to keep the ticket price at $10.

October holds typically perfect weather in Atlanta, and October 2nd was no exception. Things got started at Java Lords and Criminal Records around 2:00 and then moved to The 5 Spot and Star Bar for the evening. In particular, Criminal Records and The Star Bar seemed like the hot spots of the day. The Back Pockets kicked things off at Criminal with their unique, interactive form of experimental folk rock.  Next up was The Wild. Coming across as a mix of punk and Springsteen, the band had undeniable energy. Mermaids were a nice highlight to close out this stage with their mixture of quick surfy-pop music.

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At the Star Bar, things really started to gain momentum with Book of Colors, Little Tybee, and West End Motel on the upstairs stage. Whoever put these bands back to back really did their homework, because it worked out nicely. Book of Colors maintained jazzy, orchestrated pop, while Little Tybee was similar but more complex. West End Motel was more on the folk side, but equally engaging. They were simple and quiet, sloppy yet pretty. They were also quick and to the point: 7 songs in 22 minutes. That’s how you do it.

The night finished off with some more killer sets from Abby Gogo and ODIST, leaving fans excited to return to the 7th annual installment next year. Needless to say, you don’t make it this long without doing things right.

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