It's been a long time since I was smashed in the front row of a concert, unable to move, victim to beer spilled in my sandals and the smell of whatever else is going on in the air. But that happened to me at the Atmosphere concert, which took place tonight on the Miller Lite Stage.
And I enjoyed every minute of it.
Atmosphere is a Minneapolis-based hip-hop duo consisting of Sean Daley, a rapper otherwise known as Slug, and DJ/Producer Anthony Davis, or Ant, who has produced every Atmosphere album with the exception of just a few tracks.
They were, as usual, in great form tonight, whipping the mostly college-aged, white audience into an absolute, hand-waving frenzy for the majority of the one-hour show that actually started about five minutes ahead of schedule.
The band opened with "Trying To Find A Balance," followed by the second song on 2003's breakthrough album "Seven's Travels" and then that same album's third song, "Bird Sings Why The Caged I Know."
These tunes were followed by "Shoulda Known" from the album "When Life Gives You Lemons â€¦" and then "Sunshine," "Guns and Cigarettes," "Between the Lines," "She's Enough," "Just For Show," "Puppets," "Godlovesugly," "I Don't Need Brighter Days," "Guarantees," "Shrapnel" and "Yesterday."
They wrapped it up with "Say Shhh," a hidden track on "Seven's Travels" which they claim to usually only play live in Minneapolis.
The band â€“ originally called "Urban Atmosphere" â€“ formed in 1989 when Slug was still in high school. Originally, he was the DJ and another rapper, Spawn, was at the mic. Slug soon met Ant and switched to the lyricist. The two have worked together ever since.
Slug bounced between heartfelt appreciation for the audience and playful beefs.
"Thank you for coming to the show," he said at one point. "You're my family â€¦ I wanna make love to all of you."
Later he said, "You are all my people, you love to start fire and drink beers."
"Milwaukee I need you to put a smile on your ugly face â€¦ You know how to put on a spectacular show, especially considering how ugly you (explicative) are."
He went on to ask if the Y-Not II was still in business (Yes!) and remembered playing there long ago and then going to a place called "Thai Joe's or Joe Thai's." (Thai Joe's!)
And he crossed lines, making comments that probably need to be just between those of us who were there. But also, there was this, which received huge audience woots:
"Outdoor music in the summertime. This is as close to church as some of us get," he says.
Atmosphere has always maintained a rigorous touring schedule. After tonight's Summerfest show, the band will play nine more shows in cities from Nashville and Anchorage to San Bernadino before returning to the Midwest in early September.
Atmosphere has played hundreds of different venues around the world and recently sold out two shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Col.
The band has seven studio albums and 10 EPs. The latest release, "The Family Sign," came out last year and is considered to be the group's most personal album. "It's about being OK with losing friends and strengthening your bonds with others, celebrating the person who's been the most positive in your life, your kids, your homies, leaving the people you need to behind, and bringing the ones you love with you," reads the Atmosphere website.
Tonight's show was insanely interactive â€“ the line between performer and audience doesn't get any fainter than this. Even at the Big Gig, all the world's a stage. Word.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Molly Snyder
Published Aug. 21, 2017
Point Burger Bar Express soon will open in the former location of Upper 90 Sports Pub, 322 W. State St. This is the latest concept from restaurateur Brian Ward who also owns Ward's House Of Prime.
Published Aug. 18, 2017
Dr. Thomas B. Connor, Jr., professor of ophthalmology at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Eye Institute, shares the deets on how to experience the phenomenon without injury.
Published Aug. 17, 2017
Downtown's Army Navy Surplus Sales is a treasure trove of quirk. It was also, allegedly, visited by Johnny Cash and Jeffrey Dahmer.
Published Aug. 15, 2017
Milwaukee's Raejean Kanter - aka "Grandma Book" - recently published her first-in-a-series of travel books for kids called "Grandma Book Travels: Vietnam."
Published Aug. 15, 2017
After this morning's announcement that the German-themed Von Trier would morph into a mid-century cocktail lounge by early 2018, a petition appeared on Change.org.
Published Aug. 15, 2017
Rumors that Von Trier was about to undergo major changes flew around for months, and this morning owner John Sidoff confirmed they were true.
Published Aug. 13, 2017
With our Thirsty Passports in hand we recently stopped at The Love Shack in Walker's Point and quickly realized it's one of the best deals in the book.
Published Aug. 11, 2017
Points View Boite (pronounced "bwot") quietly opened last night at 1619 S. 1st St. We stopped in today and it is open to the public tonight and every night from 6 p.m. to bar time.
Published Aug. 10, 2017
On Saturday, Sept. 23 from noon to 10 p.m. the Walker's Point Association and Town Bank will host 5th Street Fest which is, surprisingly, the neighborhood's first signature street festival.
Published Aug. 7, 2017
For some, the State Fair is loved as a kid, then not as loved as a young adult and re-appreciated when we get older. Sound familiar?