Clozee and Psymbionic Spread Bass and Resistance Against Trump
Even though I arrived during the first opener, Aisle 5 was already packed full of people on Friday night. The show was completely sold out, and there was still a line of hopefuls standing out front before the doors opened. President Trump had just been inaugurated and the mood was odd, but we were all ready to party together. Clozee and Psymbionic had no shortage of fans for this show, as they are both so well-respected, and the hype built off their collab track, "Biohackers" and co-headlined tour of the same name had been buzzing for weeks.
It was a cool night, but not cold, so throughout the night, the crowd spread to the parking lot, but there was a massive crush of people right at the front during Zen Selekta’s set. She’s remarkably capable of pulling a solid crowd, and her sets are always unique and well-planned. I really enjoyed her performance as I settled into my first beer of the night and waited on friends to arrive.
Next up was Shanti, who took things in a much more ethereal direction compared to Zen’s set of deep dub and heavy but smooth bass. Shanti got into some deeper vibes later in his set, but his opening was a really psy, airy-feeling track that reminded me that I was surrounded by some of the headiest people in town. Aisle 5 is normally pretty full of a good crowd of hippies, but for Psymbionic and Clozee, Atlanta really showed out with a great combination of people all ready to lose their minds together.
After Shanti, Clozee took the stage quietly but confidently. She started things out slowly, but gradually introduced more and more elements of trap into her set that got the Atlanta crowd raging. She somehow managed to take us all on a journey that perfectly balanced hype bass beats with really organic, flowing elements that kept us cool. Her performance was absolutely stunning, and nobody could sit still. I couldn’t tell where tracks began or ended and simply didn’t care. She played one of the best sets I’ve seen in a long time, and is my favorite live artist of 2017 so far.
I had seen Psymbionic at New Year’s at the Warped Horizon party after Bassnectar, and had enjoyed him there, but at Aisle 5, he really impressed me at a whole new level. He was relentless with the music, never taking breaks and staying locked into the flow all night. Again, keeping things balanced, but definitely going much harder than Clozee, he rained bass down on the crowd who ate up every bit. Headbangers raged up at the rail, and all the way to the back heads were nodding. The crowd was packed in tight, but it was still possible to move around and dance, and one guy even had room to eat a burrito that he had managed to smuggle in. At the end of his set, he caked someone in a Donald Trump mask, said a few words about the incoming president, and was joined by Clozee for a b2b set of dubstep classics and other bass music. By the time the sweaty crowd poured outside, everyone was exhausted and happy, and I think it took the edge off the inauguration for all of us.
Photos by Teddy Williams for Bullet Music