Atmosphere meets Cypress Hill meets DJ Z-Trip: A Red Rocks experience

By Daniel Paiz

Photo Credit: Sarah Dope

One of the best things to expect from Red Rocks is the opposite: expect the unexpected. Getting the chance to see Atmosphere and Cypress Hill and DJ Z-Trip make a sold out Red Rocks amphitheater rumble was another level of enjoyment. It’s not even hyperbole when it comes to struggling to find the right words to describe the event. What set the entire evening apart from shows at other venues is the energy exchange between artist and audience. There were a few times where a set was a bit off due to tech issues, but despite that it was a night to remember.

DJ Z-Trip of course was the most appropriate artist to set the tunes off Saturday night in Colorado.

DJ Z-Trip rumbles the rocks

From Coolio to Linkin Park, Johnny Cash to OutKast, Z-Trip can and will mix any genres together. No song is safe, no face can escape making that twisted template of obscene pleasure. This man moves crowds while almost imploring all of us to agree with the direction he’s suggesting. Any route he takes is mashed with wonder. This is the last night of this tour, and Z-Trip still gets the crowd raring to go for the next act. Speaking of the next act…

Cypress Hill mellows the crowd

Photo Credit: Daniel Paiz

Weed songs and move the crowd jams runneth over during their set. The mellow mood B-Real and company set almost goes too much in the other direction of what Z-Trip set up after his opening set. Perhaps it’s that familiarity these guys have with this crowd, or perhaps it was missing original member DJ Muggs. To be fair, Public Enemy’s Dj Lord did an amazing job stepping in for this show. When Sen Dog and crew started to hype the crowd up more with “Tequila Sunrise” and “Rock Superstar”, it definitely seemed to get more crowd participation.

Two other reasons could also be that this was an Atmosphere-heavy crowd (much like the Wu-Tang show two weeks ago was a Wu heavy crowd); or, there were some times where it was harder to understand the words. Sound issues slightly mixed with mellow music made things feel like a kickback. Seeing a group that’s been around 30 years was still a great experience, don’t get me wrong. However, it’s good the next act on was a return from a familiar face.

DJ Z-Trip Returns

An entire venue transforms into a human birthday cake, and Z-Trip made it happen. The veteran DJ played some more jams too, including remixing banda and norteano music? Every concert from now on must have this. That’s honestly non-negotiable, and every time an artist or venue fails to have it is another time their review will go down a star. Okay, that’s probably too harsh. Instead, I’ll just fondly reminisce over Z making this happen at Red Rocks. The stage was now officially set for the last act of the night.

Presenting Atmosphere

Slug and Ant are dynamite and put on a clinic of moving the crowd through a range of emotions. There was time for reflection, time to chill out, and of course time to jump around. Slug continued to check in with the crowd, making sure everyone felt comfortable and informing everyone he wanted to get to know them. Of course that might be difficult with tens of thousands of people, but he tried. The range of crowd pleasers was endless. For some reason “Shoulda Known”, “Sunshine”, and “Yesterday” were the tracks that stood out above the rest for this fan.

“God’s Bathroom Floor” followed a brief PSA from Slug about how we need to check in with one another and help each other if one of us falls due to addiction, depression or something else. Everyone needs to check in with each other more. It wasn’t preachy, it wasn’t long-winded, it was just a reminder. Reminders are needed. As the show ended Atmosphere played a few more songs to bypass encore chants. The crowd then dispersed, clamoring about the performances just witnessed.

Photo Credit: Sarah Dope

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