The best of the best photos from the Bullet Music photographers throughout 2017.
By Kristin Gray
Photos by Ryan Purcell
True to its name, 404 Day kicks off on the fourth of April, this year a Monday night. Starting back in 2012 by Ricky Raw, this Atlanta event is a tribute to everything local. Not just musicians; artists and vendors showcase their work as well to show off just what the Atlanta local scene has to offer. 404 Day has previously been held at some of the city’s most iconic venues and locations - including the Clermont Lounge, East Atlanta Village, and, last year, a huge Edgewood block party. This year Terminal West hosts, one of Atlanta’s leading music venues
Because this year’s fourth fell on a Monday there was no block party spanning multiple restaurants and bars, but rather a fast-paced showcase of varied artists contained to Terminal West. Entering the venue, Sofa King Evil starts off the night and continues to host us for a 2 hour set. His track selection fills the space between set-up of the following artists all night. Around 8 p.m. the venue is still quiet and Stationside hosts many party goers until the dance floor gains additional occupants. Even the restaurant participates in the show, thanks to Ryan Purcell (aka Oh Snap Kid), who has a photo booth that's to become one of the main hits of the night.
As I wander out back to the wide, enchantingly set up patio, I find some incredible art being created live by local artist Dr. Dax. A raffle is being held, all proceeds going to charity. One lucky winner will be getting an incredible 9-foot piece of art that truly reflects the heart of our city. A graffiti styled quote of “Forgive & forget. Love and let go."
As the night continues, we're treated to an array of musicians. Each of representing their own genre, from psychedelic rap, punk rock, hip hop, electronica and bass music. The Difference Machine follows Sofa King and provides a handful of psychedelic tracks, creating a spacey rap performance that brings in the dance floor crowd.
Next up is the Black Lips, a punk rock band that hypes up the entire night. Two inflatable dolls enter the scene - one I named Air Jordan (he got a lot of air time) and Boobzetta (guess why). The band’s high energy and sound gets us rowdy and even starts up a mini mosh pit. We'll call it a mosh circle. As Air Jordan travels far and wide across the dance floor, I see a couple guys proudly prancing back onto the dance floor toting toilet paper rolls stolen from the bathroom to roll the crowd. Folks are having fun, Air Jordan is having fun. He even gets passed along by the vocalist/guitarist of the band, Cole Alexander. Sadly, Boobzetta does not fare so well and is found, deflated and trampled upon, never to get the air time she so longed for. RIP Boobzetta.
As the Black Lips wrap up, the mosh crowd thins and we await the infamous Atlanta hip hop native, Young Dro. He's known for songs like "Shoulder Lean" and "We In Da City." His showcase features these hits. With a stage time of only thirty minutes, he and the last DJ of the night, Ployd, make the most of their time. They both go hard from start to finish, delivering to their fans. Though a small crowd remains, they loyally dance until the end. Tonight’s 404 Day showed a lot of promise and its feature of multi-genre and artistic performance showed what Atlanta has to brag about. Look out for its summer counterpart, 808 Fest, that will be sure to deliver such a level of music and art.
By Clara Goode
Photos by Ryan Purcell
Gramatik continued the North American promotion tour for his latest EP, “Epigram,” with a sold out performance at the Georgia Theatre in Athens last Wednesday night. The venue itself is beautiful. It consists of multiple balcony levels, a rooftop bar, and a photo gallery which I wandered through before the show began. The dance floor is smaller than I expected. However, with the incredible balconies you are almost guaranteed to be able to find a place to see the stage clearly.
Jenaux, the first opener, comes on stage at around 8:45 p.m. The crowd is still small at this point, but grows steadily through his set. It is a bit of a rough start for the show. His set is good, but feels a little underdeveloped with too long pauses between tracks and jarring genre changes that make continuous dancing a little difficult. The crowd, however is very encouraging, showing him affection when he plays a track that really encourages them to dance, then swaying and sipping on drinks when the tempo slows.
Brasstracks takes the stage next. The duo of brass and drums played a mix heavy with hip hop, drawing yells of appreciation from the young audience. Rap and dubstep overlaid with live trumpet and percussion is a definite win to the college crowd of tank tops and cargo shorts. The scene is dotted with a few hippy chicks and members of the alternative crowd, but for the most part, cheap beer and backwards caps abound. Brasstracks keeps the energy high and the dance floor is fills quickly through their set.
By the time Gramatik takes the stage, the venue is full to bursting. I tried to push my way to the front, but soon thought better of it after realizing that even if I made it, dancing would be a difficult and possibly painful experience. I retreat to one of the multiple balconies, affording myself a better view and more room to move. The show is excellent, though not what I expected. His sound is heavier, darker, more hip hop and dubstep than the chill jazz groove of his older music.
The crowd is not the least bit disappointed in the deviation, which has been heard over the last couple of years in albums like the “#digitalfreedom EP” that came out in 2015 and his most recent EP, Epigram which dropped this year. Gramatik's last couple of albums have moved away from funky swing rhythms and have adopted a much darker tone. Andrew Block, a New Orleans based funk, soul and rhythm & blues guitar player joins Gramatik on stage for some added flavor to the show. The dancers who moved to stage level during Brasstracks are now part of the packed mass that is moving together, chanting along and yelling with the music. They bounce to deep rhythms and popular hip hop samples, belting the lyrics and cheering when they recognize a favorite.
The light show is incredible. The backdrop constantly changes between images and patterns all equally bright and captivating. Scenes play in vivid lights, from cute robots, to monsters, to a bold nod toward the online hacker community Anonymous, with alternating shots of their question mark logo mixed with a mass of Guy Fawkes masks. It's a fully entertaining performance.
Last year was a year of huge success for the producer with a world tour, a feature on the Netflix original, “Narcos,” and an interview with CNN’s Lisa Lang. With a sold-out and happy crowd, Gramatik’s visit to Athens is a promising start to a new a year that hopes to be better than the last.