Review: Atlas Genius and Skylar Grey at Visulite Theatre

By Jared Allen

April 26, 2016

A near sold out crowd filled the Visulite Theatre with enthusiasm from wall to wall, red drape to red drape on a warm April night. Atlas Genius and Skylar Grey lit up Charlotte’s East side with vibrant luminescence along with a mix of contrasting tuneful styles.

Skylar Grey graced the intimate stage preluding Atlas Genius’s anticipated emergence with confidence, reminding the audience that she’s been performing for over a decade.

The pop icon broke into the limelight years ago, after writing Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie” and supplying the vocals on notable tracks such as Diddy’s “Coming Home,” Dr. Dre’s “I Need A Doctor” and T.I.’s “New National Anthem.” The small town musician now finds herself transitioning toward a successful solo career, performing unheard tracks off a yet-to-be-released album.

Jarred Allen and Skylar Grey (Left)

Grey provided the audience with a headline-worthy performance as she promenaded the stage from end to end in front of gleaming white light rays. She shifted from upbeat hip hop-like tracks in a self-created genre to her harmonious single, “Moving Mountains,” forged in Utah’s white peaks.

The Grammy nominee charmed the audience into a hypnotic state with her powerful lyrics, “And instead of moving mountains/Let the mountains move you,” before pulling her fans out of the mesmeric condition with “Cannonball.”

There was a unique dynamic to the tour headlined by indie-rock superstars Atlas Genius, who shook the suspended black speakers. Emerging from the darkness behind the stage’s backdrop, the Australian duo of Keith and Michael Jeffrey tested the crowd’s ardor with “Stockholm.”

Photo by Daniel Coston

The audience left their feet in excitement as Atlas Genius seamlessly shifted from their sophomore album Inanimate Objects to When It Was Now. Throughout the set, Keith displayed true showmanship as he dropped to his knees during multiple songs’ breakdowns to interact with fans, simultaneously passionately strumming away.

Midway through the show, Keith paused the band’s schedule to accommodate a fan’s wish and played “Refugees.” Listeners sang along as they rocked out in front of vibrant reds and blues while the guitarists viciously strummed away.

The Visulite vibrated as Atlas Genius progressed into the setlist reaching “A Perfect End,” a personal favorite for Keith. As predicted, the transition from “A Stone Mill” into “Molecules” exhilarated the audience before the band retreated to ear-throbbing cheers.

Photo by Daniel Coston

Expectedly, Atlas Genius returned to sign off with the track that initiated their rise to indie-rock star status, “Trojans.” Their presentation highlighted the truth. The duo is currently performing at their best and their distinctive musical tone enlivens anyone in their presence. 

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