Atlas Genius connect with crowd at The Fillmore

Atlas Genius @ The Fillmore Nov.7th, 2013 #17By Nikki de Martini //

Atlas Genius //
The Fillmore – San Francisco
November 7th, 2013 //

Before the release of their first full-length studio album When It Was Now, the Australian-born-and-bred boys from Atlas Genius built a studio from the ground up where they wrote and recorded music for three years before even considered to tour as a band.  Since then, this (sorta) newbie Aussie Indie band continues gaining popularity in the states with two hit singles, “If So” and “Trojans”, all over the air-waves. Their headlining US tour arrived at The Fillmore on November 7th and sold-out a couple of hours before doors opened.

Inside the atmosphere was brimming with an enthusiastic anticipation, and when Keith, Michael and Darren hit the stage waving to fans, they were met with blissful cheers from the female-dominant crowd.

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Basking in a flood of indigo lights and aquatic instrumentals, Atlas Genius opened with “On a Day”, subtly building up to the climatic chorus as pockets of fans began to dance. Keith (lead vocals) and Darren (keys/guitar) fed off that energy while rousing more of it. The repeated rhythmic end of the first song flowed into the relaxed yet up tempo beat of the second song, “If So”, igniting the first of many a sing along responses from an adoring crowd.

Singing from behind his mic on stage left, only to make his way over to stage right repeatedly, and even playing guitar from the photo pit on occasion, front man Keith Jeffery made sure to engage with as much of the sold out crowd as possible.

The first real crowd interaction happened right after ending the well harmonized, romantic mood-seducing “Back Seat” when Jeffery expressed the band’s excitement for playing at the historic San Francisco venue: “We have been excited about this particular show for a very long time, so thank you very much for coming down.” The good mood soared as he invited everyone to thank what he called two of the greatest bands ever, openers Family of the Year and Dale Earnhart Jr. Jr.

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Playing a set consisting of songs off of their only album to date, it was pleasing that Atlas Genius were able to make the most out of the limited amount of material. For example, Darren and Michael stepped off the stage to leave Keith to preform an intimate solo performance of “Symptoms”, morphing the otherwise plugged-in, some what experimental rock song into a heartfelt, acoustic ballad. Then there was when “Electric” was teased with a guitar heavy intro and an extended, garage band-esque ending. As a loud applause arose after “Electric”, it took a minute for fans to realize that it was now time to react and encourage an encore. Atlas Genius reappeared to jump right into “Centered on You”, a track reminiscent of another Aussie Indie act, The Temper Trap.

Not surprisingly, Atlas Genius saved their hit single “Trojans” for last, and this placement genuinely suited the show well. It’s bubbly melody and overall contradicting disposition rounded out the whole performance, which balanced high and low tempos so well through out the night.  Moreover, it felt that fans hadn’t been waiting to hear the hit but rather they were elated to hear it live.

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Half way through, as fans began to clap along, Atlas Genius asked everyone to raise their hands, capturing a Kodak moment of their own, connecting with SF fans once more before the show was over.

Though I do dig listening to When It Was Now, when I left The Fillmore that night, Atlas Genius had totally won me over. Their hour long set was upbeat, light-hearted, fun, genuine and the setting was a great match for their laid back vibe. Atlas Genius is an essential band to see this year, and the show November 7th confirmed this sentiment.


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