Athenaeum, Mars MusicSuperstore, October 28, 1998

Athenaeum played an unusual venue this afternoon.  They were on the stage at MarsMusic Superstore for a lunchtime show prior to their evening show at Instant Karma.  Doing a five song acoustic set, this band from Greensboro, NC showcased theirpleasant pop/rock songs along with some very charming banter.  107.5 The Buzzsponsored this show and played it live on the radio during lunchtime.  This isdefinitely a great way to see a band, scaled back, no crowds, very relaxed atmosphere, upclose and personal with the artist.  The stage at Mars is actually fairly sizablecompared to other Instore venues.  Plugging into amps that had price tags on them,Athenaeum started out with what will probably be their next single, "Flat Tire",with the catchy hook, "the truth is gonna come out" which is pretty indicativeof their body of work, teen angst, introspection... but they do it within a tight formatand melodic riffs.  The lead singer, Mark Kano, has a deep, sexy voice (reminds me abit of Crash Test Dummies at times) and with the help of guitarist Grey Brewster, theyproduce some nice harmonies.  While the banter was limited due to the radiobroadcast, Mark spoke of being confused in Austin the night before and calling it Dallasand then later thanked Mars for letting them play on their showroom floor equipment. 

I had seen Athenaeum before opening up for Semisonic atAstroworld.  They did a nice job on the warmup, which is often difficult at anoutdoor venue, without the benefit of lights and the cover of darkness.  Plugged in,they are full of energy and emotion, but their acoustic show made up for that with theirinteresting arrangements and versatility.  They closed with the hit, "What IDidn't Know".   They kindly stayed around after the performance to signautographs for the handfull of folks and were very sweet and charming, seeming sincerelyinterested in some friendly conversation with fans.  Athenaeum is a very talentedgroup working their skinny little butts off around the country hoping to make good ontheir major label release Radiance.  Their material certainly has radioquality and their live show, while not exactly unique, is tight and genuine.  Weshould be hearing lots more from them.

On That Note, I'm outta here......


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