The Ataris Bring Music, Nostalgia to Hoboken
Indiana-based band play New Jersey for an hour set
"Come up close," frontman Kris Roe said before he kicked off his set at Maxwell's Sunday night. "We're a band from Indiana called The Ataris."
Not that concertgoers weren't aware. For most, The Ataris were a part of their childhood. Song requests were screamed out all night spanning their album catalogue. While Roe often joked with the crowd, most requests were played.
While the band has seen numerous lineup changes over the years, die-hard fans found comfort in that Roe continues to sing the songs they grew up on with the same passion he did over a decade ago.
With a four-member lineup complete with guitar distortion and Roe's screaming vocals, fans went wild on the floor. Beer cups in hand and fists in the air, a mini mosh pit broke out midway through the set as the band powered through each song.
Many of the tracks on the set list came off their 2003 album, So Long, Astoria. While the performance was dramatically less polished than the release, fans didn't seem to care. "Takeoffs and Landings" was harder, with fast-paced guitar and Roe's more raspy screamed vocals while "In This Diary" saw fans sing and dance along word for word.
During The Ataris' nearly hour performance, Roe told some of the stories behind his songs.
"This song's about my grandmother. I feel very lucky that the two most important people in my life are still alive. This is for all those people that we lost," he said before he introduced "The Hero Dies In This One."
The track slowed the set down with emotion-filled vocals and less guitar and percussion accompaniment. "As I sit here all alone I wonder how I'm supposed to carry on when you're gone/I'll never be the same without you I love you more than you will ever know/So maybe now you finally know/Sometimes we're helpless and alone but you can't let it keep you when you're down/You must go on," he sang.
Gracious for the fans who came out on a Sunday night to see them perform, Roe continually thanked the room.
"You're all very kind and we appreciate every one of you for coming out tonight."
Despite the graciousness, one fan in particular was a bit overzealous throughout the night and continuously shouted out requests for "Broken Promise Ring."
"I told you that we're playing that song last. If you shout for it again, I'm not playing it," Roe said.
Minutes later a fight broke out and that same fan was kicked out.
"I think it's better I play this now because that guy got kicked out. So, post on our Twitter and Facebook pages that he missed the best song ever," Roe said. "I wrote this song about someone who I really shouldn't have."
With fast-paced guitar and each fan singing along word for word, Maxwell's was transported back to 1999 when the song was released on their Blue Skies, Broken Hearts... Next 12 Exits album.
The Ataris closed the night with "San Dimas High School Football Rules" and "Hello Goodbye," a track Roe wrote about parting ways with friends. The room continued to sing along until the very last note. As The Ataris ended their set, Roe promised to meet all at their merch table.