Damn the Marvelous 3! Damn them. After hearing the Three on the 99X stage Saturday evening, their single of the week, “Freak of the Week,” was stuck in my head for days. Atlanta’s latest overnight success (years in the making) played to a large and enthusiastic crowd, reveled in their newfound stardom, and I’m sure, left thousands of other humming “that song” for days.
How fitting that a band whose major-label deal resulted from their showcase at last year’s Atlantis Music Conference should end up with a plum slot at the city’s other yearly music event, Music Midtown. And as the weekend’s second-most-popular “local” band (the Black Crowes would arguably be at the top of that particular heap), they might have been entitled to gloat a little.
But instead, they played a solid, fun-filled set to an adoring crowd. Running back and forth across the festival stage, leaping high from the drum riser, and hitting their harmonies dead on, they got the attention of the growing audience and kept it. I saw a handful of signs that fans had made and brought to the show (like the unoriginal but heartfelt “We love you Butch”), and thousands were singing along at times. The Marvelous 3 might have hit the rock and roll jackpot, but they’re not headed for the buffet line quite yet — they’re still pouring it out for the people that have made them successful. Welcome to the Marv 3 mutual admiration society.
I get the idea that teenagers in the mid-21st Century looking up the word “alternapop” in the holographic dictionary might find a 3-dimensional image of the Marvelous 3. Normally the kind of smooth, super-produced, calculatedly angst-ridden songs that seem to pop up so often on the radio these days make my skin crawl (or at least change the station) — but not the Three. “Tell me I sold out,” they sing, but I don’t think they have sold out. It’s not deep, and not particularly original, but it sounds sincere and it seems like they’re having a good time.
As for the gloating, it was limited to a comment from the stage, “To all the people that told us we wouldn’t make it — you can kiss my ass!” I’ll bet there’s not a drug in the world that could beat that high.