Atmosphere w/ Brother Ali
The Pageant – St. Louis, MO 05/21/09
Words/Photos/Videos by BeeZnutZ
I have been down with Rhymesayers Entertainment for about 5 years. My friend took me to the store to buy “God Loves Ugly” in 2003. I also believe he got Sage Francis “Sick of Waiting Tables” the same day. We rolled around St. Louis checking out graffiti throughout the city relaxing bumping this hip hop in his car.
Hip Hop is a whole lifestyle and Atmosphere to me represents. I liked his music but couldn’t have envisioned of what his live show would bring. Disappointments and let downs are far too common in some of todays live hip hop acts. Atmosphere falls far from that category and into one of his one.
Every tour is different for Atmosphere, a different theme, a different feel, a different band. One thing stays the same he always comes to rock it. Slug has not forgotten the years it has taken him to play those dirty clubs or his fans. Atmosphere as a group has earned every bit of there success.
When I saw them announce a show at one of my favorite venues in st louis “The Pageant”. I was quick to request off work as for I knew Atmosphere would be a dope show regardless.
The day of the show, I sat around getting things ready for my trips coming up and working around the house. I called up my buddy Curtis to see what he was doing that night. He replied with ” what do you think I’m doing” by which he meant he was obviously going to see Atmosphere.
See back in the day in 2005 Curtis bought this poster he loved of mine off me for 80 bucks. With that 80 dollars we went and saw Atmosphere 4 hours away in Louisville. Great Show, Great Adventure and DAMN I miss the days when 80 bucks would take you on a road trip damnit. That was my first Atmosphere show and I still have the show poster on my wall to remind me of that trip.
Anyway I decided to Ride with Big Curt and get my Drank on. So thats what I did. I had 3 strong drinks before I went in and then walked straight up to the bar and ordered one more. Thats my level right there. As soon as I turn around with my drink someone familiar walks by.
It’s Slug from Atmosphere. I stumbled over to where he was kicking it with a few other keen fans signing ticket stubs and what not. I chatted with him for a minute about the tour, the album and everything else. We took a quick picture together and I kept it moving.
This Tour was called the “When God Gives You Ugly” Tour. After viewing the picture of me and Slug I noticed that I was rocking my “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” Shirt. Which was a good fit for the night thinking back on it. Got a few random compliments while i was posted at the bar. Then Brother Ali hit the stage.
I ran down to the first tier and started doing a few video clips because I like Brother Ali’s music a lot. After the first song I get BUSTED. Nothing happens the security guy was cool and told me “They don’t mind photo’s but no VIDEO”. That sucked oh well. Brother Ali Killed it for 30-40 minutes and got the crowd more than ready for ATMOSPHERE. Who hadn’t played a St Louis show in about 2 Years.
The crowd was hype, tons of random people from my past popped up for this show. People I hadn’t seen in 5-9 YEARS were stopping me in the crowd. Really crazy messed up awkward moments at this show.
Atmosphere hit the stage and came out ripping it. His second or third song was my favorite Atmosphere song “God Loves Ugly” off the album god loves ugly which they just remastered and rereleased. Atmosphere is comprised of Slug and Ant who does the production. This show they had a Keyboardist, A guitar player and a back up singer. It all blends together nicely into a unique hip hop show.
No two atmosphere shows are the same and this one was hype. It took about 3 songs for Slug to lose the hoodie he was wearing. He played all the popular tracks plus a bunch of older songs as well that got the crowd going. What I like most about his performances is the improvisations in each of his songs. He doesn’t make it the same as on the record some people don’t like that but when used in the right situations as he does. It makes the moment, the music, the show mean that much more. One of a kind.
Another notable song was “Always coming back home to you” That is my favorite song off the album “Seven’s Travel’s”. The crowd got the craziest during “Trying to find a Balance” which was fun. I loved the intro story Slug has for “Modern Man’s Hustle” I would totally jack the story if I tried to retell it. So I wont. Go see the show.
After about 45-55 minutes they stopped the music and announced that was the end of the show and if it was cool that they would do an encore but they didn’t want to have to leave the stage. As bands normally do, Slugs words were” C’mon you really think I am not going to play an ENCORE???? I have Played St Louis in 2 plus years and I’m not gonna do a ENCORE????”
So he Ripped a Few other songs, last one being joined by Brother Ali. Then It is my favorite part of the show. At the end of All RHYMESAYERS shows they always ask” Is it cool if we Freestyle?”. The crowd always loves it. They Freestyled for 6 plus minutes taking turns over the beat the band made for them.
Awesome show, Awesome Energy, Awesome Night. If you aren’t a RHYMESAYERS fan you best check yourself before you wreck YO’ SELF and listen to some good hip hop. Oh yeah GO SEE A SHOW.