Atari Teenage Riot Totally Destroys Baltimore!!!

Atari Teenage Riot is back!!! after a string of hugely successful reunion dates in Europe, they are in the midst of a US tour, and I was fortunate enough to see them play at Sonar in Baltimore, this past Friday nite. the venue was a perfect choice, b/c it was a small, intimate setting, where the audience was right on top of the band. on a side note, I think they were playing an instrumental remix of Ministry’s “I Wanted To Tell Her” when we arrived at the club. shhh, don’t tell Al Jourgensen!

I should mention that I didn’t become familiar with ATR until after their initial break-up. that being said, this was my most hotly-anticipated show, since the first time I saw Skinny Puppy, in 2007. I watched a lot of fan videos in the build-up to this show. to see it on video is one thing, but to gain a full appreciation of how truly awesome an ATR show is, u hafta see it in-person!

they opened with their new song “Activate” which sounds even better live. I noticed some girl was sitting on top of one of the stage amps, which reminded me of that scene from Howard Stern’s Private Parts, when Howard is blowing into the mic, while a female listener is riding her stereo speaker. from there, they went straight into the 1995 classic, “Into The Death”. material from all three of their studio albums was well-represented on this nite. their collaborative track with Slayer “No Remorse (I Wanna Die)” was also played, and sounded incredible.

all three members of the group shared equally among the vocal and programming duties. occasionally, they would re-group behind their kit, before taking their positions for the next song. you hear the tracks from the studio, and you start to imagine what the recording process was like. it is pretty fuckin’ cool to see these songs played live, and you gain a whole ‘nutha level of appreciation for ATR’s talents as musicians.

Nic Endo has assumed vocal duties, from the departed Hanin Elias. Brooklyn’s own, CX KidtroniK, is the group’s new MC (RIP Carl Crack) and is a great addition to the group. his booming vocals complement ATR’s aggressive, in your face style. Alec Empire is still the driving force, and it was quite clear from the start of the show, that despite the decade-long hiatus, they haven’t lost a step. he has a commanding stage presence about him that the audience ate up. several times he went into the audience, as the crowd held him aloft, like the music icon that he is.

around the half-way point of the show, Alec formally introduced Nic and CX to the crowd, and they each received a thunderous ovation from the audience. he talked about the past, present, and future of Atari Teenage Riot. he talked about how he had always wanted to play Baltimore, b/c he had heard stories about the music scene here. he mentioned that Baltimore kinda reminds him of the suburbs of Berlin. someone in the audience had an extremely rare vinyl pressing which had Alec Empire on one side, and Elvis Presley, on the other. an item so rare, it was once (or possibly still is) on display at the Museum of Modern Art! Alec took a moment to autograph the album cover, which got a huge response from the crowd. he talked about how the government is more interested in protecting the corporations, instead of the ppl, which provided a great segue into “Get Up While You Can”

the encore included such legendary ATR tracks as “Not Your Business”, “Ghostchase”, and “Revolution Action”, which closed the show, with Alec inviting the audience up on stage. my friend (who managed to get on stage) mentioned that this is one of his favourite songs ever!

I was hoping they might play songs like “Death Star” or “Redefine the Enemy”, but I have absolutely no complaints about the setlist. it was pretty much like hearing a greatest hits album played live. the song selection was designed to present a non-stop, fast-paced, high intensity show, that kept the crowd moving the entire time. the brief lulls gave the audience time to catch their breath, before the next head-banging, fist-pumping onslaught. my throat was sore from shouting out the lyrics thru much of the show, my back and knees are sore, and I still have some slight ringing in my left ear. but gawdamn, I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. this was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen!

as I was exiting the main hall, I saw CX KidtroniK in the lobby. I yelled out “hey, it’s the king of the universe!” a reference to his character on an episode of Food Party. he replied “oh, you saw that.” and then he said a few lines from the episode. my friend later relayed the story of how Thu Tran signed his cutting board, and CX mentioned that she was at the ATR show the previous nite, in NYC. it was funny, b/c every time my buddy would see CX, he would yell out “KING OF THE UNIVERSE!”

Alec Empire came out briefly for a meet-and-greet, and I managed to get a few pictures snapped with him. I didn’t say much to him, other than to say it was a fucking awesome show, b/c quite simply, I was in total awe to meet him. he went back to the green room area, before re-emerging a short time later, and he was more than happy to accomodate the fans who had stuck around. I lingered in the background, basking in the moment, and enjoyed listening to my friends talk to Alec about the band, and the music industry, in general. at one point, my friend grabbed a flyer for an upcoming Hanson show, and managed to get a few pics of Alec holding it. FUNNY STUFF!!!

as we left the building, we spotted Nic Endo standing outside the club entrance. we got some pics taken, and chatted with her for a few minutes. I told her that I liked her solo material. she said that she appreciated us coming out to the show. I give my friend propz for mentioning to Nic, that she RSVP’d to the event I created on facebook, for the show. my friend told her that she could autograph his copy of Burn, Berlin, Burn, over “the other girl’s [Hanin Elias] face”, and she gave him a funny look.

we were all very excited to meet the entire band. we got all their autographs, and my friend had the official club poster for the show autographed. I was impressed at how accessible and down-to-earth they were. the best interaction I’ve had with musicians since that time I met Gene Ween and Claude Coleman after the Ween show in DC in 2004. honorable mention to the time I did shots with the lead singer of Left Spine Down at the Chemlab show in May.

this was definitely a 10/10 show for me, and I would actually give it a few more points, for the awesome time I had meeting the band. judging from some of the comments Alec made, it sounds like we will be hearing a lot more from Atari Teenage Riot in the future. new material, more touring, the sky is the limit!!!

I took a few pics with my smaller point-and-shoot Canon SD 780. but then I deferred to my friend, who got some terrific pics with his Canon Rebel XT. I will post links to his pics, once he puts them on his flickr account. in the meantime, here’s a pic of my friend’s autographed club poster…

ATR
official show poster (as seen in the window at Sonar) autographed by CX KidtroniK, Nic Endo, and Alec Empire

Activate -> Into The Death -> No Remorse (I Wanna Die) -> Atari Teenage Riot -> Destroy 2000 Years Of Culture -> Sick To Death -> Deutschland (Has Gotta Die) -> Fuck All -> No Success -> Midijunkies -> Get Up While You Can -> Too Dead For Me -> U.S. Fade Out -> Speed -> Not Your Business -> Ghostchase -> Revolution Action

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21 Responses to “Atari Teenage Riot Totally Destroys Baltimore!!!”

  1. Clint Says:

    IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Loved getting on the stage!!

  2. Clint Says:

    Breathylizer ratings by the time we got back to northern VA: Carolyn blew a 0.03, John a 0.06, and Clint a 0.09.

  3. links for 2010-09-27 « Clint's blog Says:

    […] CONCERTS: Atari Teenage Riot Totally Destroys Baltimore!!! « My Stupid Blog A review of the Atari Teenage Riot show Carolyn & I went to with John The Canadien and AE last Friday. It was AMAZING!!!!!!! (tags: personal media audio bands AtariTeenageRiots shows TheSonar Baltimore Maryland Clint Carolyn JohnTheCanadien AE blog reviews posts) […]

  4. links for 2010-09-27 « Clint’s Test Blog Says:

    […] CONCERTS: Atari Teenage Riot Totally Destroys Baltimore!!! « My Stupid Blog A review of the Atari Teenage Riot show Carolyn & I went to with John The Canadien and AE last Friday. It was AMAZING!!!!!!! (tags: personal media audio bands AtariTeenageRiots shows TheSonar Baltimore Maryland Clint Carolyn JohnTheCanadien AE blog reviews posts) […]

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