Tuesday, October 27, 2009

THE ATARIS: Return to Perth

Sunday 25th October brought punk rockers into the intimate Amplifier Bar in Perth to see The Ataris (USA) since their last Australian tour in 2003. From humble beginnings in the mid 90's, The Ataris were propelled to the top of Australian charts with the commercial release of So Long, Astoria (Sony: 2003). A huge gap after touring like machines and a flip over in band members lead to a gutsy release of Welcome the Night (Isola: 2007), a collection of beautifully dreary and ambient songs none of which appeared on the set list.

Supporting acts included Stealing O'Neal, a pop rock band from Melbourne, "market trend rockers" with their skinny jeans, loafers and fast paced tunes. The performance lacked impact and delivered predictability. The vocals were overpowered by the instruments as the set began to sound like a half hour song with 20 second breaks every 3.45 minutes. The young guns were undoubtedly energetic and friendly, bringing the small crowd to life with the catchy track, Chin Up Baby.

When The Ataris came out, it was obvious this is what everyone had been waiting for. A crowd I can only describe as 'diverse' packed closer to the front cheering for a band they loved in high school. Front man Kris Roe expressed such genuine gratitude and appreciation for his fans and continuously thanked the venue for having them perform. And perform they did. As a three piece the sound was well balanced, heaps of energy to carry the fast paced tracks and steady with ballads. Roe worked hard and played passionately, giving it his all with his vocal range and his signature, left handed, upside down strings guitar playing.

Lighting the fire with Unopened Letter the the World and several more songs from the So Long, Astoria album including Boys of Summer, a Don Henley cover Roe claimed they would never play at another show. A real treat for some hardcore fans when they played Anderson from the very first album in 1997: Anywhere But Here and a handful of other nostalgic songs I.O.U. One Galaxy, Your Boyfriend Sucks, 1*15*96, Summerwind and San Dimas High School Football Rules.

The Ataris are really, too kind. Letting a drunk birthday boy jump up on stage, slur words to In This Diary before multiple stage dives with his friends throughout the night and thinning out the mosh pit. Poor Form, sir, Poor Form indeed. Roe tried to conceal signs of irritation and let it slide, but it was obvious this guy was being a complete nuisance and should stick to sing star in a sound proof room.

Props to the guitarist of Stealing O'Neal for taking the term "rock out-with your cock out" in a very literal and M15+ context. Overall a very punk rock experience; nudity, stage dives and waking up with bruises.

Looking forward to the album on 2012! (ETA)

1 comment:

kerplouski said...

i'd upgrade that to a MA18+