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REVIEW: The Ataris - Live at The Knitting Factory
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REVIEW: The Ataris - Live at The Knitting Factory

By: Andrea
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This is the second time I get the chance to see The Ataris this year. Earlier in May, the band performed at Manhattan's Webster Hall, while this time they took on the stage of The Knitting Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The atmosphere in the venue was generally more laid back, with a slightly older audience that felt closer to my age range (late 20s).

 

This time, the settings weren't the only difference. Founding singer and song-writer Kristopher Roe has been the sole consistent member of the band since it's inception, and the line-up on stage featured a different set of musicians from the people who played with him at the Webster Hall a few months earlier. In spite of that, the band had a great chemistry on stage. One of the most interesting things about The Ataris' is the way their discography has evolved through the years. Fan favorite albums such as "Blue Skies…" and "End Is Forever" showcase a blend of melodic hardcore and emo, while the band's most widely known release, "So Long Astoria" strikes for its blend of radio-friendly pop-punk. Again, the band's last full-length album, the largely underrated "Welcome The Night", enhanced the band's emo/punk footprint with influences from genres such as shoegaze and post rock.

 

How does it all translate live? Kris Roe & Co. set out to offer some raw interpretations of their songs, performing them in a more organic way. For instance, fan-favorite such as "Your Boyfriend Sucks" is a great example of how the band cashed in on their evolution. The song might not be as youthful as the studio version, but it certainly feels more emotional and instinctive, with aggressive singing and a driven rhythm section. More importantly, the instrumental bridge in the middle of the song was turned into a lush and melancholic post-rock breakdown that echoes the work of bands such as Explosions In The Sky or This Will Destroy You - one of the highest point of the shows.

 

The Ataris are always fun to see: a hard working rock and roll band that plays songs I used to love growing up, in a way that resonates with the evolving taste in music of many of the band's long-time fans, without losing its original spirit!

 

 
 
 
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