Atmosphere sells out the Fox Theater in Oakland
On October 15th, fans descended upon the historic Fox Theater in Oakland, CA to see Atmosphere, Plain Ole Bill, and Blimes and Gab play to a sold-out audience. For those of you who have never caught a show at the Fox Theater, you are missing out on a truly unique architectural and sound experience. The Fox originally opened in 1928 as a movie theater that was built to accompany a live orchestra. In 1970, it was converted into the live music venue as we know it today. The theater was originally built by the famous San Francisco architectural firm Weeks & Day. This unique theater features Moorish, Indian, and Medieval elements, which makes it very pleasing aesthetically. Not only is this venue beautiful, but it can hold 2,700 fans, which makes it quite large; it features two levels, with the bottom having three mini levels, allowing everyone present to have a good viewing experience.
This venue is a true staple for the Bay Area and if you ever get a chance to catch a show there, do it!
Plain Ole Bill and Blimes and Gab opened the night, and both impressed me in different ways. I personally had no knowledge of either of these performers, which I think put me in a unique position to genuinely take these artists in. Plain Ol’ Bill is a DJ through and through. His show started out kind of dark actually, in both sound and lighting. I was expecting him to be a vocal performer, but I was impressed with his DJ mix. It was dark, industrial hip hop. It definitely fit with the eclectic energy of the Bay Area.
Blimes and Gab were interesting for me to watch as a lover of hip hop and feminist energy. These gals looked vaguely familiar and then I realized they went viral a couple years ago for their song “Come Correct”; I realized these girls were not ‘unknown’, just unknown to me! Their energy was impressive. I don’t need to state it twice, but it’s hard as a woman to hold your own in the world of men within hip hop. Not only did they hold that ground, they shattered that glass ceiling.
Now onto the main attraction, Atmosphere. I have seen Sean (aka, “Slug”) and Anthony (aka, “Ant”) of Atmosphere perform in many different settings — from clubs to theaters to huge festivals — so I felt like I had a good idea of how their concert performances generally go.
This show, however, was special.
Plain Ol’ Bill joined Ant at the deejay station for the entire show, which added an amplified flair. It was genuinely fun to watch them all interact. Opening with “Puppets” followed by “Shoulda Known”, “The Loser Wins”, and “Pour Me Another”, Atmosphere played every hit you could want to hear and even made a point to stop mid-show to encourage fans to “test your shit, before you snort that shit”, referring to the fentanyl epidemic taking our people in drastic numbers. Party… but do it as responsibly as you can. I think that is a message that everyone can relate to, even if you don’t partake in that kind of lifestyle. Atmosphere went on to play “Pour Me Another”, “God Loves Ugly”, and “Sunshine” before pausing the show again to say, “You guys are fucking fun! God, Oakland, what the fuck!!?” The three performers were then met by the roar of the crowd. As the smell of beer and marijuana surrounded my senses, they went on to play additional favorites, before Slug busted into an a cappella freestyle. Finishing with “Trying to Find a Balance”, Slug said to the crowd: “Take care of yourselves and take care of each other always. PEACE!”
It was a night I will always remember.
- Shoulda Known
- The Loser Wins
- Fuck You Lucy
- Pour Me Another
- Don’t Ever Fucking Question That
- The Woman with the Tattooed Hands
- God’s Bathroom Floor
- Say Hey There
- Little Man
- Happy Mess
- The Best Day
- God Loves Ugly
- Camera Thief
- Smart Went Crazy Freestyle
- Trying to Find A Balance
Photography by Alexia Johnson