Written By: Joe Whitlock
It was a warm spring night on the west side of Atlanta as several hundred people began trickling into Terminal West to see The Werks play their second show there in as many months. The Dayton, Ohio bred band has built up quite a following in the A and their fans were humming with energy coming into the venue.
Those who arrived early to the show received a special treat in the form of South Florida heavy hitters The Heavy Pets. THP set the stage with the type of performance that their Soflo fans (known as The Zoo Keepers) have reveled in over the years. Integrated style changes and ripping jams were the highlight for me. The band members share song writing duties, each with a unique vision that keeps the set lists fresh and unpredictable.
I was extremely impressed with one of the group’s newer tunes, “Movie Star”, as it showcased great lyrics and harmonies in addition to wonderful sonic pleasure. About mid-way through the set, Rob Chafin of The Werks, appeared on stage for a sit in reminiscent of a mid-90’s Phish show. After the Pets wished Rob a happy birthday, he pulled up a chair and read a book silently to himself while the band played a funky, reggae number. Upon closer inspection, the book was titled “Hippy Watching” and along with the literal sit in, showcased the playfulness of a fantastic opening act.
Around eleven o’clock The Werks took to the stage. By then the place was buzzing with anticipation. A high energy version of the Mission Impossible theme song set the crowd off before settling into an amazing organ led groove. Throughout the show the spine of the band proved an irresistible force allowing the jams to explore and explode around them. One word that came to mind was “powerful” as spacey keys lulled everyone into a trance like state just before the guys let go into several pounding stretches of kinetic musical bliss. This show provided a clear portrait of what it is that makes The Werks a preeminent band of this decade’s jam scene. They are able to cultivate complex periods of experimentation that ride seamlessly on the back of their driving grooves.
Eyes were wide and ears were enthralled from start to finish as both bands proved that musical talent in conjunction with a bit of levity make for one hell of a show. View a full gallery of photos from the evening by Billy Heigl here.