Soundset 2010: Atmosphere gives low-key finale

Soundset 2010: Atmosphere gives low-key finale
Photo by Denis Jeong Plaster

At the end of a gray and sometimes rainy day at Soundset, the clouds parted, the sun came out, and a rainbow shone over the main stage as Slug of Atmosphere took the stage for the final performance of the day. Much like last year, the excited crowd crammed in toward the main stage to watch the headliners play; but unlike last year, Atmosphere gave a more low-key set, focusing on slower and more introspective songs and bringing the energy way down.

The first half-hour of Atmosphere's set was delivered at almost the exact same pace, with a focus on quieter, guitar-driven songs like "Guarantees," "Yesterday," "Always Coming Back Home to You," and a dialed-down version of "Modern Man's Hustle." The crowd didn't seem to mind, however, and responded by throwing their arms in the air and singing along regardless -- and to be fair, the set wasn't bad necessarily (save for a new song, "Americareful," about health care that was a rambling, aimless, and gratuitous rant), it just lacked the climax one comes to expect from a headliner.

Here's a video of another new song Slug debuted Sunday, called "To All My Friends":

Things finally picked up toward the end of the set when they pulled out an old song, Scapegoat, which was a treat for those of us who have been following Atmosphere for the last decade or more.

The momentum started to build by the encore, as the band barely left the stage and came back to play "Sunshine" and another new song, "The Best Day." Looking out at the sun peeking through the clouds, Slug said, "This is, like the best day EVA!" All complaints aside, Atmosphere still has plenty of adoring fans, and even as he slows things down a bit musically there will still be throngs of Midwestern kids waiting with anticipation to see what he might do next.

Set list (*new): Guarantees / Date With Divinity / To All My Friends* / God Loves Ugly / Puppets / Modern Man's Hustle / Americareful* / Always Coming Back Home to You / Little Man / Yesterday / Free Fallin'* / Trying to Find a Balance / Scapegoat / Sunshine / The Best Day*

For more on Soundset, see Tigger Lunney's complete recap, in addition to our photos of the performers, crowd shots, and photos of the breakdancers in the side tent.

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