On Tuesday, I spent a lovely night at the 40 Watt with Athens-bred Wim Tapley and the Cannons, alongside Nashville band Jive Talk.
The pre-show was almost as entertaining as the show itself. They invited me to hang out backstage and I was greeted with laughs and good energy. You can tell they really love what they do. After plenty of jokes and stories, the show began.
Jive Talk lived up to their name and truly did jive. The 80s pop-inspired band served as a great opener and got the crowd perfectly amped up. The frontman, Oliver Pierce, was a joy to watch perform, as he captivated every member of the audience. The psychedelic-inspired moments, like a whirly song intro and layered synths throughout, really stood out.
Then, it was time for Wim and Co. to take the stage. They kicked it off with some crowd favorites, before playing a funky cover of “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell. Their saxophonist, Olin Cordell, shined here and did so even more in the following song, with a sick solo.
Next, they played “Sober,” the title track from their new EP. It felt as if Athens met early 2010s rock, and had a rockin’ baby. I really enjoyed watching bassist Garrett Gray play; he had such a presence on the stage, but I couldn’t help but chuckle because he looks just like Action Bronson-turned-rockstar.
“Hard to Get” was the ultimate crowd-favorite of the night. It was easily their hardest song, which was apparent with all the dancing happening around me. Then, Wim performed the first song he wrote in Athens, “Tree Song,” which was a real highlight for its authenticity. I thought that was an interesting song title (called so because he wrote it under a tree), but it was outdone by their next song, titled “Errands”, which I found even more interesting. The song was tight, and their drummer, Daniel Miller, killed it here.
As the set wound down, they played a popular Wim Tapley song called “The Woodlands”. The whole crowd sang along with Wim, but they were all upstaged by the girl in the back, who got so excited that she decided to wave a stool in the air. He obviously has some dedicated fans. So much so that they called for an encore, which was happily answered with a cover of Briston Maroney’s “Freakin’ out on the Interstate.” If you’d told me Wim wrote that song, I would have believed you. It was a perfect end to the set.
I had a great time watching both of the bands perform. Between Jive Talk’s grooves and Wim Tapley and the Cannons’ jams, it was a fantastic show, and I can’t recommend it enough.
Jacob Feinberg is a student at the University of Georgia, studying marketing and music business, with hopes to find a career in music journalism or artist management. After years of listening to and studying music, Jacob has decided to share his knowledge and opinion through Vinyl Mag. His favorite genre is rap/hip-hop, but you can catch him listening to basically any genre (r&b, jazz, rock, etc.). Jacob has a deep love for music and artistry, and he hopes to apply that by highlighting Athens's rich music scene and all its talented artists.