How to Properly Say “What’s Up ATL”


Singer/Producer Roy Blair gets the crowd jumping during his song "Perfume". Photo Credit: Cami Schiappa

There’s a different sound that happens when an artist yells “WHAT’S UP ATLANTA!” in a room of 300 people versus a room of 3,000.

In one, you veer your head to an absurd angle to reach the light of the jumbo tron two-hundred feet away, already beginning to nurse a sonically-induced headache from the obscene way the bass rumbles the arena. The other, you simply smile back at the artist who greeted you in the first place, and sway into the motion of the beginning chords of the next song.

One has hard plastic seats and oddly sticky floors that muck up the soles of your shoes for the foreseeable future, while the other has plush bar stools and old wooden floors that welcome you into them, along with the rest of the crowd.

There’s an obvious dedication at smaller shows, which is something to be admired. Fans will camp out for hours or days for a barricade spot at their favorite singer’s show. At smaller venues, there’s a rampant community that scoops anyone up that wants in. Senior Regan Murray, a frequent small-venue goer, says “Small venues are so so nice for when you really care about the artist. There’s a different feeling when you get to be so close to someone you’ve listened to for so long – it’s really wild. But amazing.”

“Everyone’s there for the same reason,” she continues, “And that’s what makes it so special.” Recently, small but ever growing artist Roy Blair visited the ATL at the Vinyl, selling out the venue at 300 tickets. Standing in the back, we scored some videos of the singer/producer. Senior Hannah Sandstrom says, “Going into it, I had only listened to a few songs of his. I loved them, of course, but seeing him perform live made me so much more into the music. It’s not like that at arenas, personally I have so much more fun in smaller venues because it’s a much easier time.”

But what matters more? Having said you’ve seen a big time artist in a roaring arena or listened to the intricacies of an instrument you’ve been listening to for months? Barely making out the human face of the performer from the nosebleeds or holding the artist’s hand during a heartfelt ballad? Murray continues, “Small venues over big venues, anytime. I don’t wanna pay $50 for a t-shirt, I wanna have an unforgettable experience.”