October 7th brings a bit of our friends to the North and to the East to Congress for what I had the chance to experience in my new base of operations, Madison, Wisconsin. Think of me as Marty McFly when I declare that those accustomed to Atmosphere will experience the best, most varied setlist yet. Not a fan of rap, or a newcomer? You'll see both the quality up-and-comers in independent hip-hop as well as where the genre is moving.
Accompanying the Twin Cities' most favorite citizens Slug and Ant will be DJ Raregroove (Cincinnati), Budo (Seattle-native) and Grieves (Brooklyn), and Blueprint (Columbus, Ohio). Budo's production work is all over, having a snazzy jazz feel evident on Grieves' 88 Keys & Counting. "Nature vs. Nuture" in Madison brought out Budo's trumpet while "Gwenevieve"'s call and response chorus tugged the audience to life at the Orpheum, and will at the Congress. Building on Brooklyn's rising rapper is Blueprint, who'll be accompanied by DJ Raregroove. The majority did not know who he was as he took the stage, but after the polo-donned wordsmith left the stage he left the audience craving more than Hot Doug's could concoct. Wanna sample? Here's his free "Best of Blueprint" mixtape covering his discography.
Atmosphere is coming off of the surprise release of their To All My Friends and Blood Makes the Blade Holy EPs just on September 7th. Since 2008, their production has gradually shifted to a live band with keys and guitar (yet no keyguitars). The sound is far from traditional hip-hop, having evolved into an amalgamation of rock riffs ("Hope"), soulfully punchy keys ("The Best Day"), and slow ride vibes ("The Number None"). They're close to completely smoothing out the kinks of this new branch of rap, and everyone's starting to catch on as the EPs hit no. 2 on iTunes' overall album sales the day of their Madison date.
You better get your tickets before the show as people left and right are finding out this tour is selling out before or when the doors open. Tickets are $23/$25. Show starts at 7:30 pm, all ages.
Check Mezzic for more photos from the "To All My Friends" Madison, Wisconsin tour date.