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Atmosphere? One of Oppressive Security at the Showbox SoDo

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I wish I could write a review of Atmosphere‘s performance at the Showbox SoDo last night, but I can’t. I never saw the show, because I was thrown out due to a case of mistaken identity. For real.

Let me ‘splain:

I had been trying to get a ticket to the sold-out show for about a week and a half, with no luck. Then the night before a friend texted me that he had an extra ticket to Atmosphere, and did I want to go? My reply was two words, and the second one was ‘YES’. I had never seen Atmosphere before and was excited as I had heard great things about their live shows, and I love the Showbox SoDo‘s warehousey feel.

The crowd out on the warm Tuesday evening for the much-hailed hip-hop duo from Minnesota was dense and all-ages, with a bit more mad-dogging and less open smiles than I am used to in my usual electronic music crowd. If you like rap though, last night the Showbox SoDo was the place to be, and I was stoked to be swirling around in the mix.

Arriving late, of course, I had missed the first act and Abstract Rude was up on stage laying down rhymes and steadily working up the crowd in front of a big banner proclaiming, “When life gives you lemons, you paint Seattle gold.” 

I watched all this with my friends and our beers, caged off like the animals we are in the drinker’s section. When Abstract Rude finished up we all headed outside to check out one of my friend’s new pimp van, actually, the pimpest van EVER in the history of the universe and sweetest ride you ever saw, with running lights, a drink table and DOUBLE privacy shades. Straight pimp, straight up and down, like six o’clock.

After the fresh air/smoke break we headed back inside; Atmosphere was about to go on! Stamps on the wrists we walked up to the entrance, but the bouncer took one look at me, flashlight to the face, and would not let me pass. Whaaaaa? I held back, my friends went on in, then I tried again and he still wouldn’t let me in. I thought he was just being a jerk so I went around to the other entrance, which unfortunately was already closed for the night. The ladies there directed me back to the bouncer, who still wouldn’t let me inside. He said I had started a fight earlier inside the club, kicked some girl’s face in, knocked over a bunch of tables, then ran out screaming F you! F you! F you! to the bouncers.

Uh, yeah. This was not me. I am a peace lover, which is exactly what I said to the bouncers. “I’m a peace lover! I’ve been outside hanging out with my friends!” They were not having it. 

“Well, it was some girl who looked just like you,” the bouncer admitted, though still not waivering in his duty to keep the crowd safe from short, blond, table-trashing maniacs. So apparently last night a 5’4″ girl in a blue tank top, black skirt, fluorescent yellow fishnets, black and white striped legwarmers and a giant fuzzy fake fur coat beat someone up at the Showbox SoDo, knocked over several tables and did not take names. And because of that, Shilo missed the show.

It would have been funny if it didn’t suck. My friends all assumed I had gotten back in to the packed club and was dancing up at the front- after all, why wouldn’t the Showbox Sodo have let me back in? I cabbed it home and was in bed by midnight. Now I am all about new experiences, and this was a certainly a new one for me, but when said experiences interfere with new music, I get a little ticked off.

So how was Atmosphere? One of oppressive security at the Showbox SoDo, of bouncers who must not score very high on the job-satisfaction list, of people who need to CHILL OUT. The energy at hip-hop performances is palpably different from that at other shows, fomented in large part by the security forces who prove the cliche true that if you are looking for trouble, you will find it. 

But last night they made a mistake. The Showbox SoDo kicked out a peaceful dancer, someone who calms down violent drunk guys outside of clubs, marches in anti-war protests, has a peace sign tatttooed on her forehead and happens to write for a Seattle entertainment website. Oops. I’m guessing the party in the van was the best of the night, anyway.

So if you are wondering how the performance really was, here’s a message I got this morning to whet your appetite: Honestly the show was kinda mediocre, definitely very rehearsedly-adlib-like. Tried to play it off that ‘just because you’re Seattle and you’re holding it down’ but it was pretty scripted… didn’t sound mixed very well either. Kinda mixed like they’re trying to impress you with loud more than feel or good sound. Anyway, um shit stop throwing tables and getting kicked out of places alright?”

So there’s your review; now I gotta go clean this blood off my knuckles. Just kidding- I think the Showbox SoDo owes me a show ticket AND cab fare. Anyone else out there actually see Atmosphere perform and want to add their two cents in?

If you are heading to the Nas show at the Showbox SoDo this Friday night, tread lightly- and watch out for those crazy table-throwing blond girls- they’re everywhere.