Courtesy of myspace.com/atmosphere
Atmosphere, Lucky I Am, Grayskul, Mac Lethal
In the Venue
This was a show were the music is so damned good that the idiots in the crowd didn’t matter. The 16-year-old couple standing in front of me, that were basically having sex, disappeared. The girls behind me that were desperately trying to push there way up front even though there wasn’t room for a flea near the stage didn’t bother me. The music transcended these minor annoyances, because it was just that good.
I arrived at In the Venue around 7:15 and the place was already packed. Lucky.I.Am was onstage, and the crowd was enthusiastic. It was early in the night and almost everyone in the room was dancing, and usually the type of energy found in the room doesn’t start until the alcohol has settled comfortably into everyone’s blood stream. I was unfamiliar with Lucky.I.Am prior to the show, but his short 15-minute set was enough to spark my interest. After Lucky.I.Am’s set ended, Mac Lethal took the stage in a matter of moments—not allowing the crowd to lose interest in the show. His mix of talking shit about celebrities (including an entire diatribe about how Fergie of Black Eyed Peas does meth), and ridiculous songs in the vein of club hits (“Pound That Beer” and a song about getting a DUI) were hilarious. His 15-minute set was nicely balanced out with a few songs, whose names I didn‘t catch, that didn’t rely on shit talking about pop culture. After Mac Lethal, Lucky.I.Am took the stage again for another 15 minutes. Both Lucky.I.Am and MacLethal’s sets were good, but mostly served to hype the crowd on Atmosphere and Grayskul.
As soon as Mac Lethal finished his second short set, Grayskul took the stage. I liked Grayskul, but I thought that their set ran a little long. The trio performed for roughly an hour and their sound just didn’t sit well with me. Grayskul blends the elements of the most influential old school hip hop, the sarcasm of anti-hero hip hop and elements of repetitive and mind numbing club hip hop that the rich jocks with the popped collars blast out of their cars. Although their style is supposed to be a joke, it was a little too 50 Cent for me, and the popped-collared dudes seemed more into it than anyone else. I did really enjoy a few of their songs--one of my favorites was the incredibly catchy “Scarecrow,” but near the end of their hour-long set, I lost interest and looked forward to Atmosphere taking the stage.
At around 9:45, roughly a half-hour Grayskul left the stage, creating the first lull of the night—Slug and Ant of Atmosphere took the stage along side a full band. Slug announced to the crowd that he’d be playing some old favorites, and a lot of stuff that no one had ever heard before. I can only hope that many of the songs Atmosphere played will be featured on Sad Clown Bad Fall 10. Slug’s rhymes were incredibly tight, fast paced and had an ADHD quality about them. A few highlights of his set included “Sunshine,” “God Loves Ugly” and “Smart Went Crazy.” By far, one of my favorite moments of the show came at the very end. As Atmosphere’s set closed Slug announced to the crowd that they had played their last song, but offered some “bonus” material to the crowd if they wanted to hear it. Instead of bolting from the stage and waiting for a deafening cheer to rise from the crowd, the duo simply remained on stage. Atmosphere played a few more songs and before their last one Slug announced, “This will be the last song. When it’s done you’re all going to leave, go to your cars and put on your seatbelts. I’m going to go to the bus and puke.” Slug and Ant are true anti-heroes of the hip-hop world. Their music is good and they don’t have that obnoxious rock star attitude to accompany it, making the music seem that much better.