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The Ataris - Live At The Metro (Cover Artwork)

The Ataris

The Ataris: Live At The MetroLive At The Metro (2004)
Sony Music Entertainment

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


Contributed by: jamespastepunkjamespastepunk
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I'll be straight. I was an ex-Ataris fan. I heard their songs at the right time, but in time Kris Roe's lyrics were quickly overcame by other writers and performers, and my disappointment in So Long, Astoria didn't help either. Fast forward to Janurary 16, 2004, when I find out that an Ataris sh.
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I'll be straight. I was an ex-Ataris fan. I heard their songs at the right time, but in time Kris Roe's lyrics were quickly overcame by other writers and performers, and my disappointment in So Long, Astoria didn't help either.

Fast forward to Janurary 16, 2004, when I find out that an Ataris show I went to in 2003 had finally been released as a live CD. Kris Roe has been quoted many times as saying they'd never do a live CD, but they did anyway. Perhaps to hide this from their fans, Live At The Metro was released exclusively on the internet, where speculation greatly added to its luster. Was it well produced? Did it sound okay? Did it have a decent tracklisting? Who cares? I WAS AT THE SHOW!!

When I saw the tracklisting, I was disappointed. "Teenage Riot," one of my favorite Ataris' songs, which had been done very well that night, was not included. Come to see it, only 12 of the group's songs from that concert had been recorded, when there were at least 15. However, seven acoustic tracks were included, not from the show, but the after-party acoustic show, which Greg Graffin was rumored to have appeared at.

That's a total of 19 tracks. Five are covers. More than a quarter of the songs contained in the disk aren't even originals. Speaking of things contained, the "cover art" championed on the website is a red herring. Live At The Metro comes in a glorified version of a CD sleeve, not a jewel case.

Enough about what the CD isn't, as it's actually a pretty good representation of the group performing live. Sure, there's nothing quite like seeing Kris ask for an audience member to play guitar on "San Dimas..." every night, but that's a limitation of the medium, not the artist.

Of note, which does cut into the enjoyment in the record, Kris asks for audience participation, and then proceeds to sing and not let the crowd's voices be heard. The few times you do hear the crowd, we sound loud and unified, just how it sounded at the show. Suffice to say, our voices make an impression.

For the last couple songs, some of the later choruses are missing, most likely due to Kris' predilection for stage dives, and the audience is busy floating him as opposed to singing, but again, that's part of the milieu of an Ataris show.

What's not part of the experience is Kris and presumably the guitarist sitting down and doing storytelling-type acoustic songs, even adding on the end, "I don't feel too much like Dave Mathews…" As per usual, Kris bares his soul to the audience, putting light to some of the hidden messages in his songs, but keeps a level of humor consistent throughout, most notably in the explanation of "Fast Times At Dropout High:" "My parents sat me down when I was 13, they said we have some things to tell you, and I thought 'Oh shit, they found my porno mags.'" The other guitarist wittily replies: "Some things haven't changed, Kris."

The name of the site hawking the CD, www.atarisbootleg.com, does sound a little shady, thus giving me a reason to wonder. When I saw it was mixed by Lou Giordano (Millencolin, Ataris, Taking Back Sunday), I relaxed a little bit.

Mixing wise, it sounds just as clear as a live CD should sound. There's polish, but not too much. I hesitate to call it grit, but it's a good balance between live and polish.

It's a real, honest to goodness live CD, except you can't find it in stores. If you're a hardcore Ataris fan, there's no reason why you shouldn't have this. If you like the group, and live CDs are your thing, this is for you. If you've never been to a show, but are a fan, it's for you. But if you're a casual fan, skip it. I can't say it hit me like Blue Skies…, but it did make me dig out my Ataris CDs I hadn't listened to in awhile, which may be the best thing one can say about a live CD.

In any case, here's the track list in electric or acoustic form, and the original artist in quotes in the case of the covers:

  1. Unopened Letter to the World (electric)
  2. 1/15/96 (electric)
  3. IOU One Galaxy (electric)
  4. So Long, Astoria (electric)
  5. Between You and Me (electric)
  6. Your Boyfriend Sucks (electric)
  7. Song #13 (electric)
  8. All You Can Ever Learn is What You Already Know (electric)
  9. Someday (electric, Sludgeworth)
  10. The Saddest Song (electric)
  11. Boys of Summer (electric, Don Henley)
  12. Astro Zombies (electric, Misfits)
  13. 1/15/96 (acoustic)
  14. My Hotel Year (acoustic)
  15. Hero Dies in This One (acoustic)
  16. Fast Times at Dropout High (acoustic)
  17. A New England (acoustic, Billy Bragg)
  18. What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding (acoustic, Elvis Costello)
  19. San Dimas High School Football Rules (acoustic)

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Porcelinaofthevastoceans (November 14, 2006)

Lets give 'The Who' back their album cover hey....

sad really, i love the ataris (and yeah, i can admit it in public...most of the time). their music is awesomely poppy and funky and girl/guy hating and its good for teenagers to get their angst out to.

However the Who are legends...and i am sick of bands ripping them off. pity the ataris couldn't get creative enough to develop their own album cover isntead of trying to be tricky and using an already fairly widely recognisable one and trying to be all 'we like old music too'

Anonymous (March 4, 2006)

""This score is for the people on this site that will bash frat rock & crap like that, then turn around & praise The Who."

Yeah, seriously. That goes for like, most of "classic" rock."

the who > most punk rock.
most classic rock > punk rock.

Anonymous (January 16, 2005)

"Punk rock man, its not about being a professional"

I dont know what it is the ataris make but it sure as hell isn“t punk rock,man.

boba_fett (January 15, 2005)

fucking html tags...

boba_fett (January 15, 2005)

Punk rock man, its not about being a professional.

nice. the truth is finally out for all of you folks.

Anchors if you liked limp bizkit when you were in 7th greade that must mean you are like 19 years old. but yet you try to talk like youve been listening to punk since the mid 80's

and theres a problem with being 19? kid dynamite put it best when they said just because you're not 21, that's not supposed to mean you can't have any fun..

IndplsPunk (January 15, 2005)

Anchors if you liked limp bizkit when you were in 7th greade that must mean you are like 19 years old. but yet you try to talk like youve been listening to punk since the mid 80's

Anonymous (January 15, 2005)

"This score is for the people on this site that will bash frat rock & crap like that, then turn around & praise The Who."

Yeah, seriously. That goes for like, most of "classic" rock.

Cos (January 15, 2005)

"The ataris aren't very good and neither is this review. It sounds like it was the kids 1st concert. How can you write for this site when you have been to one concert. Damn, how old are you 10? Review stinks!"

I must once again interject in defense of some anonymous soul. Who cares if the kid is 10 (I doubt it) or it was his first show? Punk rock man, its not about being a professional.

I've seen the Ataris a few times and enjoyed them immensely, not so much for the music (it was okay--reminded me of the glory days of Fat Wreck) but for the band's--and Kris's--sincerity in what they were doing. I've seen far more bands doing this whole skinhead or "street-punk" schtick because they thought it was cool and they sucked ass. The Ataris don't apologize for being fan-boys first and musicians second, which made the shows pretty fun.

--Cos

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

The Ataris are gayer than Culture Club.

Anonymous (January 13, 2005)

"One question. Who are the Ataris?"

I love you.

Anchors (January 13, 2005)

In 9th grade, I was the biggest Ataris fan in the world. And while I don't really listen to them anymore, I'm not ashamed I did, like being a Limp Bizkit fan in 7th grade.

There's a year I'd love to have back.

Anonymous (January 13, 2005)

One question. Who are the Ataris?

Anonymous (January 13, 2005)

Pete didn't have sex with boys, he only had pictures of little boys. The Who wrote better songs than a lot of these bands, and Pete is an incredible guitarist. The Who will still be remebered in 50 years - I don't think the same can be said for the Ataris.

Anonymous (January 13, 2005)

This score is for the people on this site that will bash frat rock & crap like that, then turn around & praise The Who. The Who are the biggest fratboy cockrock band ever. Plus Pete Townsend has sex with kids.

Anonymous (January 13, 2005)

The reviewer needs to lay off the Jesus Juice

Anonymous (January 13, 2005)

No "In My Diary?"

Anonymous (January 12, 2005)

for the guy who said elvis presley was a douchebag. elvis died on the shitter..what have you done?

Anonymous (January 12, 2005)

Live At Leeds, is my favorite Who release along with being one of my favorite albums period, so it pains me to see the Ataris having anything to do with that album. I want to hear how shitty the Misfits cover is.

-Walter Sobchak

Anonymous (January 12, 2005)

This score is for people giving a "this score" to things.

Anonymous (January 12, 2005)

This review is for the person who gave me a good review for bashing Chinatown. This beer's for you !

Anonymous (January 12, 2005)

"why does he suck so bad?"

He's Kris Roe.

Anonymous (January 12, 2005)

kris roe is one of the worst acoustic performers in the history of time...what's with him recording a tonne of shitty solo covers on his shitty-sounding four-track recorder and then putting them on every single compilation that's come out in the last two or three years? why is he way too lazy to record new, full band songs? why does he suck so bad?

Anonymous (January 12, 2005)

I think I've grown out of defending The Ataris after going to see them live - they played for about 50 minutes and weren't even particularly good. And they do far too many acoustic song - Kris might as well have a side-project solo career.

Joe

IndplsPunk (January 12, 2005)

plus kris roe is one of only 4 good things to ever come out of indiana (where im from)...Axle Rose, Micheal Jackson (pre-molestation) and John Melencamp(original music)

IndplsPunk (January 12, 2005)

I'm waiting for their new album coming up this year. supposedly its not going to sound anything like the stuff theyve already put out

Anonymous (January 12, 2005)

score is for lifetime's cover of "a new england"

KB (January 12, 2005)

I'm not too good to listen to the Ataris. But this review makes me want to bust out the old "Armed Forces" album. Elvis Costello is the man. Elvis Presley is a douchebag

Anonymous (January 11, 2005)

Sorry, i meant guy 3 below me kicks ass for making fun of Chinatown.

Anonymous (January 11, 2005)

Guy second from the top kicks ass, score is for him.

Anonymous (January 11, 2005)

I actually have no problem admitting i'm too good to listen to the ataris

Anonymous (January 11, 2005)

I like this review because Chinatown (the biggest loser with access to the internet) didn't review this. Score is for that reason!

Anonymous (January 11, 2005)

The jackass below me needs a facefull of phallus.

jamespastepunk (January 11, 2005)

Sorry if I don't meet the scenester standards for not caring that a concert I attended was recorded.

Sorry if I refuse to stand in the back when a group I love is playing.

Sorry if I refuse to pretend I'm "too good" to listen to the Ataris.

I think you can tell from the tone of this I'm being sarcastic.

Anonymous (January 11, 2005)

It does sound like this is your first concert. We don't care that you were there. Score is for the review.

Anonymous (January 11, 2005)

"Live album not withstanding, it's inexcusable how many times the Ataris have released their core songs."

Hmm...how many? They did "i won't spend" again for SLA. So it seems like your math is a little off.

Anonymous (January 11, 2005)

"This score is for parodying the cover of an ifinitely greater live album. "

You're a fucking moron. It's called a tribute, dumbass. Also known as paying homage to a disc they thought was great themselves. Think before you speak please.

adamfromohio (January 11, 2005)

anyone else think it's lame that Elvis Costello gets credit for writing 'What's So Funny...'

i hope they didnt fuck that song up

-adam from ohio

boba_fett (January 11, 2005)

meh. i liked blue skies... but thats the only one i own. so thats all i got.

greg0rb (January 11, 2005)

Do not diss townsend man, that dude rocks hard. I was wondering if anyone got the reference on the art there, good call BSD.
-Greg

Anonymous (January 11, 2005)

"Because we found out what pete townshend was about all along."

And with the Ataris fanbase, they are on the right track in followin Pete's footsteps.

kenjamin (January 11, 2005)

and what did the Who represent that makes you so up in arms about the ataris doing a parody? Because we found out what pete townshend was about all along.

Anonymous (January 11, 2005)

This score is for parodying the cover of an ifinitely greater live album.

The Who represented everything the Ataris DON'T...

-BSD

Anonymous (January 11, 2005)

Did anyone else notice that Kris's vocals sound really muted and bad starting right before Song #13 and continuing for the next several tracks? 'Sup with that.

Anonymous (January 11, 2005)

this setlist really is not that bad... not as bad as i expected at least. i wont be picking this up

Anonymous (January 11, 2005)

This band is still cool no matter how popular and/or poppy they get.

They have the perfect music for movies like "fast times at ridgement high" "karate kid" "bill and ted", etc.

They'll always spawn great memories from high school

Anonymous (January 11, 2005)

"The name of the site hawking the CD, www.atarisbootleg.com, does sound a little shady, thus giving me a reason to wonder. When I saw it was mixed by Lou Giordano (Millencolin, Ataris, Taking Back Sunday), I relaxed a little bit."

Holy crap, I laughed so hard at that. It's called a marketing tool. Epic/Columbia has done the same thing for Modest Mouse, Phantom Planet, and who knows who else. Moron.

Anonymous (January 11, 2005)

score is for getting to queer it up with Kris while he was drunk in 1999 after a show in LA - he'll deny it, but it did happen - Gay Zack.

Anonymous (January 11, 2005)

The ataris aren't very good and neither is this review. It sounds like it was the kids 1st concert. How can you write for this site when you have been to one concert. Damn, how old are you 10? Review stinks!

TheNightProwler (January 11, 2005)

Can't say I like this band but they picked good people to cover; Misfits, Elvis Costello, Sludgeworth.

Costanza (January 11, 2005)

Being grown up, isn't half as fun as growing up!

Anonymous (January 11, 2005)

the metro rules

the ataris do not

-antonio banderas

jamespastepunk (January 11, 2005)

I must, however, commend the Ataris on the consistently high quality of their singles, there's always a different version of a song, or a cover to make the purchase worthwhile.

On their All You Can Ever Learn is What You Already Know EP, they put two covers, one of them the Smoking Popes song Pretty Pathetic.

Anonymous (January 11, 2005)

Live album not withstanding, it's inexcusable how many times the Ataris have released their core songs.

niveK82 (January 11, 2005)

My score is for the Metro!

Anonymous (January 11, 2005)

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