The Ataris @ Dürer Kert, Budapest, Hungary

Words: Miljan Milekić

Seeing The Ataris in Europe is not something you can do every day. For that reason, a trip to Budapest was a no-brainer, and it was worth every minute of travel. Yes, The Ataris are no longer big as they once were, they haven’t had a full length for ten years, and they had numerous lineup changes in recent years, but their music is still strong as it has ever been. And live, they sound amazing.

The club was relatively small – for around 300 people, but it was packed and sold out, so the atmosphere was just as one would like it to be. Kris Roe and the rest of the guys made the gig so intimate, you could feel like at your local bar with your best friends, and not in front of the band that once filled arenas. Also, the band seemed like they had quite a fun time on the stage.

Most of the tracks were from legendary ‘So Long, Astoria,’ with more than a half of the setlist coming from that record, but they also delivered some older stuff like ‘San Dimas High School Football Rules’ or ‘Your Boyfriend Sucks,’ combined with some newer songs like ‘Slacker Rock’ or ‘All Souls Day.’ They also squeezed cover of ‘Boxcar’ by Jawbreaker, but definitely, the best moments were classics like ‘In This Diary,’ ‘Unopened Letter to World,’ ‘The Saddest Song’ or The Hero Dies in This One.’

The encore was a must, and there wasn’t just one, but two of them. First, the band came back with ‘Boys of Summer,’ ‘Eight or Nine’ and ‘So Long Astoria,’ but, as the crowd wouldn’t let them go, they delivered another new song – ‘They Live, We Sleep.’ As I said, the band sounded great, Roe’s voice was strong and powerful, and the rest of the guys seemed like there was no place they would rather be. With a new lineup, the band got new energy and a bit more post-rock influences that gave the old songs a little bit of a twist.

With support consisting of Swiss Slimboy, who failed to gain much interest from the Hungarian crowd, and locals Seven Seas who had a solid fan base in front of them, there was hardly a better way to spend Wednesday evening.

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