The Smile, You’re on Camera Tour had a secret weapon

Texas act PNTHN was stealing shows left and right on road with Vince Staples

PNTHN’s members have the gall to be conscious of their stage presence. The freshly seasoned Texas group is riding its first wind as far as the sail will allow. The all-male group appeared in control of their stage presence Tuesday in Atlanta at work with West-coasters Buddy and headliner Vince Staples. This happens to be PNTHN’s most accessible tour yet. Learning to mesh with audiences that aren’t necessarily coming to see them bodes well for their future. On the verge of entering the next, upper tier of artistry, this is your best chance to see PNTHN live before their price goes up.

Credit: hotel party

The name PNTHN comes from a member’s interest in mythology, thus the word “pantheon”, which is how PNTHN is pronounced. They took the stage at 8:30… all of a sudden, there were six rappers on stage, each commanding their own pocket of the floor, while their DJ looked the ever consummate professional. Perhaps the most riveting aspect of their brief but illustrious set was just how young they looked on stage, and how much fun they looked like they were having. Clearly, PNTHN lives for the moment, and continues to do so on stage.

The DJ drops a tag in between songs: “It’s the PNTHN, baby,” a member of the group said in an Austin Powers twang. PNTHN rapper Tony Tone tells ATL to turn the fuck up. A tiny mosh-pit begins to formulate as red, blue, and green lights accent the stage.

Much to the crowd’s chagrin, PNTHN leaves the stage at 9:15, allowing Buddy to pick up where they left off at 9:30. Admittedly, Buddy’s performance started off very slow, and there was hardly any crowd engagement until he was three songs in. It appeared the dynamics of the group on stage before him could not be matched by a single performer. This gives PNTHN a reputation that should ensure them a long career in live performances: more bodies on stage, more things happening, more good rap music, more shows for now and later.

Vince Staples took the stage at 10:15 for the tour he had announced in December. The California artist went through hits like Blue Suede, but saved the best for latter in his set: Big Fish was by far the best sounding song live, as Staples performs without a backtracking vocal, but ultimately became a caricature of itself as Staples ad-libbed “late night” three times during the hook. The third time was in poor taste.

Khalid Steals Music Midtown

6:43 PM

Gucci Mane’s DJ takes the stage and starts with A$AP Ferg’s “Plain Jane”. He went on to spin Future “Same Damn Time” and cult classic “Knuck If U Buck”. Gucci took the stage 7:05 with Both, rapping along to Drake’s chorus, and I Get The Bag. He wore a white red and blue tracksuit with shades. He took his shirt off at 7:07 PM to further bring out what felt like a last-second outfit. Long matching basketball shorts. High red socks and chains. Back on Road was #3 and the second Drake feature to reel the crowd in. After asking where the day one fans were, Gucci segued into “I Think I Love Her”. After performing fan favorites like “Lemonade” and “Freaky Girl”, he brings out out four guests, each escalating in reception — Lil Quill, Yung Mal, and Hoodrich Pablo Juan out, and Lil Yachty for “Minnesota”.

Khalid takes the stage 7:45. At 7:56, he’s steadily fueled his performance with an all black ensemble of an outfit and five back up dancers wearing green. At 8 PM, he launches into a self proclaimed “sad as fuck” song. He ends up stealing Day 3 of Music Midtown with a three song run of “Let’s Go”, “Location”, and “OTW”, a relatively new single featuring Ty Dolla $ign and 6lack that shows the direction he may be headed in, a syrupy rhythm and blues sound that recalls late 90s nostalgia.

While the Pulitzer winning Music Midtown headliner prepared to go on stage, The Damn. Tour hologram hung, anticipation grew. He took it like foreign territory, wore a shirt a darker shade of green with the lettering NOT FOR SALE. He opened with DNA, started King Kunta at 9:10 PM. Largely able to go through the motions, Kendrick did some of that, but managed to break through a slow start to a near-raucous set, thanks to choice cuts like “Goosebumps”, “mAAd city”, and “Backseat Freestyle”. Listing all of his projects up to DAMN., he name-checked The Kendrick Lamar EP, but the none of his songs performed dated back to before his debut album on Interscope. “Money Trees” made an appearance, as did “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe.” Before closing it out, Lamar ordered fireworks shot into the dusky black hue that hovered above Piedmont Park, a fitting gesture for an artist whose own intonations and declarations do something to the air.

Elijah Watkins Presents “Finesse Worldwide”

Story connoisseur Elijah Watkins brought the city of Atlanta out to his event by the name of “The Year of Finesse”. I, along with many others, was in attendance to witness Elijah’s careful curation of fashion and music, accented by live recordings of interviews with Childish Major, OG Parker, and St. Beauty. It was a memorable event that included a DJ set, ability to browse and purchase from the season’s collection, as well as connect with like-minded individuals on the Westside of Atlanta’s midtown district.

Inspired by the cultural renaissance currently taking place in Atlanta, Finesse Worldwide curates exclusive apparel designed for contemporary tastemakers and innovative minds.

Originally coined to describe refinement or delicacy of workmanship, structure, or texture, “finesse” is a term used colloquially to represent the skillful maneuvering of a situation, circumstance, or obstacle. “Finesse” is a quality that many self-reliant individuals must possess in order to flourish in today’s creative climate; this season’s apparel highlights the dual-meaning behind the word, as well as the nuanced nature of those wearing it.

The simplistic “currency” stylization of the logo t-shirt is synonymous to those with affluent aspirations, while the “construction” hoody is the perfect garment for cultural innovators who frequently find themselves braving the elements as they work to build a brighter tomorrow.

Pieces of the season’s collection was available for purchase in limited quantity exclusively at the ‘The Year of Finesse’ pop-up gallery, on February 2, 2018 from 5:00pm-10:00pm a A Ma Maniére in Atlanta, GA, a location some might recognize as the store where Joe La Puma joined 2 Chainz for an episode of Sneaker Shopping.

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Finesse Worldwide homepage

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