Photos and review by Josh Justice
On the third stop of their partially-sold-out month long The Wherever Tour, Atmosphere (Sean “Slug” Daley and Anthony “Ant” Davis) made their way to the beautiful St. Andrew’s Hall in downtown Detroit. Joining them for this packed show are an all-female all-star lineup - DJ Keezy, Nikki Jean, and The Lioness.
As DJ Keezy warmed up the frozen Motown crowd, spinning a who’s-who of hip hop classics, Minnesota native and Rhymesayers signee Nikki Jean allured the crowd with a soulful and timeless mix on vocals, keys, and guitar. A mix of rap, R&B, and poetry showcased skills beyond her years. Kicking off her set with the title track from her latest project “Beautiful Prison,” leading into a murderous tribute to her favorite ex “Take You Out,” as well as fan favorite, “Driver.” Personal highlight was the playful snippet of her hook from her collaboration on Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life.”
Following Nikki Jean’s amazing performance was lyricist The Lioness. It’s not often the openers are on par with the headliners but both Nikki Jean and The Lioness brought lyrical and musical skills that rival the main eventers. From “Honor/Today” “It’s more than just rhyming, if you don’t have substance,” each song had an endless depth and an element of an anthem for change. The slow, melodic beats from DJ Keezy with quick raps over tracks like “The Chosen One”, The Lioness used all of her set to stun the crowd with a myriad of tracks from her over decade long career.
Finishing out the night, Atmosphere. Promoting the recently released album, Whenever, Slug and Ant rocked the crowd with a mix of old and new and many popular tracks that have allowed Atmosphere to be one of the most popular artists for the better part of 25 years. Between each song, Slug reminded the crowd that he loved us. With almost too many songs to keep track of, the audience was served up a double albums worth of hits, including “Say Hey There,” “Love Each Other,” a spoken word version of “The Woman with the Tattoo Hands,” new single “Postal Lady,” classics “Sunshine,” “The Best Day,” “God Loves Ugly,” “Yesterday,” and holy smokes over 20 songs overall.
The Wherever Tour continues across the country until February 28, ending in St. Paul, Minnesota. Many dates have already sold out so if you are considering going, don’t sleep on it.
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