Live Wire hosts night of hip hop and electronic music for AthFest Club Crawl

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Anyone in a mile radius of Live Wire could hear the unmistakable sub-bass speakers.

Starting at 9 p.m., the Nightshade Family DJs took over the outdoor DJ booth at Live Wire. Jakob Namon, known by their stage name “ONIT,” was first up. ONIT’s set created an inviting ambiance for those first arriving to Live Wire.

The Nightshade Family is a record label, multi-genre DJ and producer collective, according to their website.

Inside, DJ Chiefrocka greeted the arriving stream of audience members with moody remixes of classic hip-hop songs.

P.O. the Priceless1 joined DJ Chiefrocka on stage at 9:40 p.m. P.O. the Priceless1 took a minute to commend himself on his recently earned awards at the 10th annual Athens Hip Hop Awards earlier this month; he won the “Mover & Shaker of the Year” award, as well as “Music Producer of the Year.” The audience cheered as congratulations, and P.O. the Priceless1 began his set.

“Let’s have some motherf— fun,” P.O. the Priceless1 said to the audience.

At the outdoor DJ booth, Delaney Erwin, known by her stage name “KN0W,” began her performance. Some electronic musicians freestyle their sets, but KN0W said that she prefers to do everything in advance.

“I typically try and nail down a good majority of my set just because I’m a Virgo,” KN0W said. “I like to go into things prepared.”

Loyalty is Timeless stepped onto the inside stage at 10 p.m. Reginald and Darius Dowdell are a brother duo from Birmingham, Alabama, and the pair’s music followed themes of overcoming adversity. Next, Slugga2X took the stage at 10:20 p.m. Both artists captivated the audience with energetic and dynamic performances.

At 10:40 p.m., Chiki Flow & Domino began their fast-paced performance of reggaetón. The duo danced throughout the set and leaned over the edge of the stage to engage the audience.

SHo jumped straight into a high-energy performance by 11 p.m. His music created a blend of hip-hop and rap that was met with cheers from the audience. SHo’s stage presence was full of confidence and ease as he delivered original works.

At the electronic music scene outside, Karezza, also known as Scottie Stephens, began his set at 11 p.m. Karezza’s energy never fell short as he cranked out whimsical music.

The audience outside reached its maximum at this time. The gravel and flickering strobe lights created the perfect setting for attendees to enjoy the electronic music.

Christina and Dado Cruz, co-founders of the Nightshade Family, said that one reason electronic music is not as popular in Athens is because of the complicated speaker system it requires.

“The reason why [electronic music] is not commercial and marketable is for that reason,” Christina Cruz said. “That’s just a little bit of why it’s important to us to show people that it’s a different experience.”

The Nightshade Family also works to give electronic musicians a foothold in the industry, as well as a community. Dado Cruz said that he is a DJ himself, but he runs the Nightshade Family to do “something bigger than himself,” he said. Dado and Christina Cruz want their resident DJs to have the opportunity to perform instead of themselves.

“[Our resident DJs] are people that we prioritize…just to give them support, because… there wasn’t really anybody putting on these types of shows,” Christina Cruz said. “So therefore, if you’re a DJ, if you’re a producer and you want to get booked people had to go to Atlanta. There wasn’t really an opportunity to get on stage here [in Athens].”

Tyl3r Davis stepped onto the indoor stage at 11:20 p.m. During his performance, the lights turned almost completely off and Davis left the stage to perform amongst the crowd. He pulled the audience members into a circle around him to perform one of his original songs. The performance was entertaining and exciting for the audience members who videoed with their phones and cheered.

The outdoor stage began to dwindle in members of the audience but not in energy. At midnight, the silent disco began and several people jived to the electronic music flowing through their headphones. The laidback atmosphere provided a contrast to the high-energy performances inside.

Lil Darius was scheduled to perform at midnight and as the call time grew closer, speculation began that he may not show. The audience slowly dispersed from the inside stage and the ones who remained ambled around as they waited. DJ Chiefrocka kept the remaining members entertained with an impromptu set.

At 12:15 a.m., Lil Darius delivered an explosive entrance onstage with one of his songs. As the audience realized who was on stage, cheers grew louder and the crowd grew larger. Lil Darius excelled at keeping the audience engaged and energetic throughout his performance. Audience members lined the stage and jumped as they belted out the words to Lil Darius’ music.

The crowd doubled in size after his first track. Lil Darius grabbed phones from the audience’s hands to take selfies and videos of the lively scene.

Izzy Morrow, a local promoter for Afterglo Athens and DJ, said that she has found her place in the world of music in Athens, specifically electronic music.

“It’s a colorful, accepting place,” Morrow said.

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