A full capacity crowd of 1,600 filled the floor and stacked high into the nosebleed section of Atlanta’s Tabernacle on Sunday night for Red Bull Soundclash. The Roots and Shiny Toy Guns, two bands with contrasting sounds, took to their respective stages with an energy-packed audience sandwiched between them for a one-of-a-kind show.
Red Bull Soundclash is a unique clash of sounds, style, and creativity, where two bands with totally different musical backgrounds collaborate to create an innovative live music performance. As The Roots’ drummer Questlove describes it, “The event is basically a creative friendly fire between two comrades, two groups who mutually admire and respect one another.”
Both bands brought their own dynamic sounds and voices – a clash of The Roots’ funky hip-hop beats and Shiny Toy Guns’ electro rock style - as they performed a variety of different songs, some rehearsed and some improvised, to showcase their musical versatility.
“We are challenged artistically by Red Bull Soundclash mainly because Shiny Toy Guns is part machine, part rock,” explains Jeremy Dawson of STG. “We’re half electronic, half organic. And the way Soundclash works is completely hyper organic.” DJ Z-Trip spun on the ones and twos while Akro Batik served as the event’s host and laid out the rules to the audience.
The concert was broken down into four rounds of musical conversation:
The Cover - Each band played their own take on the same cover song, Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire.”
The Takeover - This was a collaborative round where one band started playing one of their original tunes then the other band took over the second half of the song on cue and finished it in their own style, and vice versa.
The Clash - This round challenged the band’s versatility as they had to adapt their songs to the music genre DJ Z-Trip was spinning, including punk rock, country, and disco.
The Wild Card - Each band picked a musical artist of their choice to join them on stage and be a part of the performance. The Roots chose dirty south rapper YelaWlf and Shiny Toy Guns brought up drag performer Miss Lawrence, who lit up the stage with her bright pink tutu and energetic personality.