Atmosphere brings Minnesota’s finest “Back Home to You”


Atmosphere playing a show at the Palace Theatre feels like a holiday tradition itself at this point. Decorate your tree, bake some cookies, head to St. Paul to see Minnesota’s finest perform to a sold out crowd. You know, all the most important winter activities. 

Minnesota’s finest did, indeed, show up on Friday night- even in the audience. Everyone was clearly there for the same reason… to see some great live music. There weren’t any overly drunk people or aggressive pushers taking the attention away from the stage. This was one of the first shows that I’ve been to in a long time where that was the case. 

First up was DJ Keezy. I’ve seen her perform quite a few times, and seeing her on a Bill always gets a sigh of relief. Where DJ Keezy is, there is good music to be heard. Her set flew by as people funneled into the venue from the chilly Friday night air, checked their coats, and filled their still cold hands with even colder Surly beers. 

Next, The Lioness took the stage. I’ve written about how much I love seeing her perform before, and I could go on for ages. Her stage presence commands attention- and once you’ve given that attention you won’t regret it. The crowd was filling out at this point and everyone seemed to be mesmerized. I was excited to see that I wasn’t the only person who knew of The Lioness and that tons of people around me were also singing along to a song or two. 

Final opening act was deM atlaS, local legend himself. I first saw him perform when I was still living in Philadelphia, opening for Atmosphere on another tour. I’ve seen him many times since, always in conjunction with other Minnesota heavy hitters. By this point in the evening, all eyes were on the stage and nearly everyone was singing and dancing along. As excited as I was to see Atmosphere, the main reason I had come out to the Palace Theatre in the first place, I was definitely left wishing that deM atlaS’ set was longer when it came to an end.

That feeling of wanting more was quickly fulfilled when Atmosphere finally took the stage, starting their set with Jerome, off of their new album “Mi Vida Local,” followed by “Shoulda Known,” a classic fan-favorite. It didn’t matter what song they were playing, or when that song was released, because it was clear that the audience was there, full of respect for these Minnesota grown heavy-hitters, ready to sing along to every single song that was played.

This was my first time hearing lots of the songs on “Mi Vida Local” live, and I was so impressed. What other artists do you know of that have only gotten better with time? There’s lots of bands out there who’s whole discographies I enjoy, but no one ages like Atmosphere. Some crowd favorites were Fuck You Lucy, Sunshine, and Camera Thief. I personally loved hearing Virgo… I may or may not have gotten a little choked up. Who hasn’t cried at the Palace Theatre?

Their set came to an end, and the transition into the crowd chanting “At-mos-phere!” was seamless. Quickly enough, they came back out to perform “Always Coming Back Home to You,” which had people around me tearing up (Ha! I’m not the only one!) Next, deM atlaS and The Lioness reentered the stage to perform “Drown,” and then DJ Keezy came back for the final song- Trying to Find a Balance. The final moments felt glorious, as five huge Minnesotan talents stood on stage in front of a crowd that was giving off nothing but love and respect. 
Everyone moseyed out, gushing about their favorite moments of the evening, trying to figure out how to score tickets to see the same lineup perform again the next night. Because, let’s be honest, one night of Minnesota heavy-hitters is never enough.