On the Friday evening of March 10th, The Palace Theatre opened its doors to music-lovers for the first time since 1977 (with the exception of a brief opening in 1984). Still, today This St. Paul venue holds true to its historic value in the Twin Cities Music scene, marked by its rubbled ceilings, buzzing halls, and sold-out status on day one. A vintage neon sign outdoor read “The Palace” and below, a marquee named Atmosphere as the night’s headline in bold letters. Upon entrance, attendees were greeted with a pleasant “hello and welcome!” by staff clad in the event’s branded tshirts. All in all, prior to the first escape of a beat over the venue’s speakers, the level of that night’s community hoopla was undoubtedly apparent.
Words by Madison Mead. Photography by Tanner Morris.
The lineup for this Friday evening consisted primarily of artists under the Rhymesayers label. If any reading are unfamiliar‒ although I highly doubt this as the record label is of high popularity in the greater Twin Cities area‒ Rhymesayers is a Minneapolis-based independent label that originated from the creative threats of major labels in the early stages of hip-hop culture. The show at The Palace served to epitomize the label’s identity.
The night began with an entrancing solo performance by Lady Midnight. Hip-hop artist, deM atlaS, followed with the sort of performance that is true his character in the industry; lively, engaging, and all around killer. deM atlaS is the type of performer to captivate an audience with his unique combination of insightful lyricism and energetic stage presence; this performance was no exception.
Following Dem Atlas, Shannon Blowtorch took the stage with her locally renowned beats. Although this set was short, it was no wonder to the crowd why this DJ is known as one of the best club DJ’s in the area… she undoubtedly got the crowd moving and grooving. As the final set prior to the headline, SIMS came on stage in a near roar of joy. The artist declared his personal excitement for the night, as this was his first time performing with Atmosphere, to which the crowd reciprocated their own feelings for the night in a vocal applause. The set continued, and finished, in a likely manner.
As the night went on, there was this intangible sort of buzz about the place, likely as a result of the crowd’s yearning for Atmosphere grew. However, as the crowd quieted and the stage seemingly took ready for the final act, a single man stepped out on stage with a microphone, this man notably neither of the members to Atmosphere. This man need not announce himself as he began speaking of his childhood memories that were filled with the music of rapper Slug and producer Ant. This man was the all-talented comedian, actor, and musician, Hannibal Buress. After a playful joking about Twin City rivalries, Buress spoke of his admiration for the artist, and finally announced the performance of Atmosphere.