The Ataris Live in Singapore | Concert Review
“Ashruff, come over to my house, cause you’re the one for me!”, sang Kris Roe to the audience at The Boiler Room at St James Power Station last Tuesday. The 300-strong audience chuckled in delight as Kris had substituted his ex-wife’s name in the song “Looking Back On Today” to the name of a fan in the front row.
Yes, those who were there at the show are probably still listening to “Blue Skies, Broken Hearts…Next 12 Exits” on repeat and reminiscing the show on a loop in their memory. After years of anticipation for their arrival here on our sunny shores, The Ataris finally came and gave their fans an amazing show which takes them back on a nostalgic trip. Singapore was their last full-band tour in South East Asia before Kris Roe heads to Bangkok alone for his solo acoustic tour.
Opening the show were local bands, Rancour and Plainsunset, who warmed up the crowd with their energetic performances and catchy songs, resulting in a spur of sing-a-longs from the audience who were already pumped up to see their punk rock heroes, The Ataris. Jon Chan of Plainsunset even playfully teased the crowd by getting them into a minute of patriotic singing to the song “Singapore Town”.
Fans were at their wit’s end when The Ataris finally got on stage and after smiling warmly to the crowd, they kicked off their set with “In This Diary” off their 4th album, “So Long,Astoria”. I remembered seeing many fans singing every word to the song and jumping up and down hysterically(90% of them were middle-aged men by the way) when it was only within seconds since the show started. The Ataris’s setlist was perfect for their fans; a balance between “Blue Skies, Broken Hearts…Next 12 Exits” and “So Long, Astoria” which happens to be 2 of their most successful albums. When “So Long, Astoria” came on, mini attempts of bodysurfing were seen among fans but they were quickly stopped or ushered away by security. The Ataris also played an old favourite, “1*15*96”, and many of their long-time fans were probably thankful to hear something from their older albums.
Halfway through the set, the other band members left the stage and Kris Roe did a short solo performance. He sang “The Saddest Song” and cued the crowd to sing-a-long with him when the chorus came. It was very heartwarming as this song is special to Kris as it is dedicated to his daughter, Starla, whom he does not spend much time with due to tours. As soon as the solo ended, the band resumed the show with the fast-paced and punchy track “Boys of Summer”, a song every person at the concert knew as it used to be played frequently on Singapore’s airwaves and help gained mainstream popularity for The Ataris.
The Ataris announced earlier in the show that there was going to be an obvious encore(Kris Roe is jokingly honest) and they closed the show with “San Dimas High School Football Rules”, which is clearly an apt choice as the crowd went nuts! I witnessed a number of fans bodysurfing and attempting a mini moshpit among themselves. They did not care about security anymore as it was the closing song of The Ataris’s concert in Singapore! As “San Dimas High School Football Rules” happen to be my personal favourite Ataris song, a rush of excitement hit me like a tidal wave and I joined the mad crowd singing and jumping all over the place. “Dump your boyfriend and go out with me! I swear I’ll treat you like a queen!”.
If only I had a “million trillion lifetimes” to witness the show again but for now,
I am thankful to Snowbird Productions for bringing my punk rock heroes, The Ataris, to Singapore.
Text by: Erin Riduan
Images by: Marcus L (watermarked) & Trisno Dimas
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