Athens PopFest 2007: Day 1 with Ted Leo, Velcro Stars and more…

Show Date: August 9, 2007

The Smittens welcomed me to the Athens PopFest with their trademark cute deep vocals and bashful next door lyrics "Be my valentine, I want to make out all the time."

Velcro Stars, already pointed out as a band I need to check out soon since they went beyond cute pop to offer a palate cleansing sorbet of chic indie rock.

I didn't take much to the two bands after The Velcro Stars (We Versus the Shark and Birds of Avalon) mainly because metal and classic rock just aren't my thing… even when housed in the 40 Watt. There were folks there that did get into it – I opted to head to the back and perused the Wuxtry stand complete with boxes of vinyl and cds!

Ted Leo Photo: imaginary Liz

I returned my attention to the stage once headliner Ted Leo started up. My first impression? That Ted a smooth mofo! His flawless set took the fest up a notch with as he oozed with enchanting conversation (Ah his timeless line, "at the end of the night we’re all a little twee") and cool-kid moves. It was like the indie Fonzie was up there taking us through his catalog of songs.

Ted Leo Photo: Imaginary Liz

Live, his signature jabbing guitar rifts that backbone his crystal clear, Joe Jackson-esque voice translated from record perfectly. There was no denying that Ted and his pals brought live game as he flowed effortlessly into free form guitar-god asides within songs while remaining succinct and composed, driving the audience further into spazzy giddiness.

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