Atmosphere Paints That Shit Gold

By Michael Lopez

Making my way back to the SRP Stage to catch some of Atmosphere’s set, I couldn’t help but think of the dichotomy presented by this year’s Edgefest lineup. One set earlier, the SRP Stage saw Kottonmouth Kings electrify the crowd and stupefy me.

Atmosphere gracefully took the stage with a backing band that included guitar, keys, turntables and a backup singer. The band broke out their smart, mellow hip-hop for the eager fans, a stark contrast to whatever abomination the Kottonmouth Kings spilled all over the stage not 30 minutes prior. Atmosphere’s hip-hop provided a nice break from all the moshing and circle dancing that the SRP Stage produced all day long. Fans watching Atmosphere chose to nod their heads and wave their hands instead of barreling into each other, something that the collective SRP Stage desperately needed after high-energy sets from Authority Zero, Gogol Bordello and Thrice.

Photos by Luke Holwerda

As bad as I wanted to shake whatever bad vibes Kottonmouth Kings brought to the stage, their oddball image and confusion still lingered. It did not help that as I examined the backstage area, I noticed my mohawk-sporting, bullhorn-toting friend from Kottonmouth Kings sitting on a table with an insanely attractive lady in his lap. He wasn’t done teaching me lessons for the night, I suppose. It was good to see him, though, because my distant view of him from the crowd during Kottonmouth Kings’ set did not allow me to see that he had his face painted white. So there he was, in all his white-faced, mohawk-coiffed glory hitting on a very attractive female. You win, Kottonmouth Kings, I give up.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jonathan McNamara