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Live Review: The Ataris w/ Columbus @ The Triffid

The Ataris

I got to The Triffid last Friday night and was keen as a bean! I was really looking forward to seeing Brisbane alt-punk band Columbus, as they were opening for The Ataris. The Brissie boys certainly didn’t disappoint, opening their set with Hospital from their 2015 debut EP ‘Home Remedy’ (which if you haven’t listened to yet, you should definitely check out… Do it now, just open up another tab… I’ll wait).

The band proceeded to play a selection of songs from the EP plus their latest single Replace Me, linking some of the songs together with short interludes with snippets of lyrics. The band had a great presence, and the slowly growing crowd seemed engrossed. They finished their set with a new track called Raindrop (that’s set to be released on their debut full length later this year) plus their single Downsides Of Being Honest, which was really well done. Columbus are probably my favourite alt-punk/emotive punk band in Australia right now, and they definitely didn’t disappoint!

The room was really starting to fill up now, with the crowd brimming with anticipation for The Ataris. The band came on to cheers and applause and launched straight into In This Diary, an appropriate start for their night of playing tracks from their albums ‘So Long, Astoria’ and ‘Blue Skies, Broken Hearts… Next 12 Exits’. Takeoffs and Landings came shortly afterwards and was a clear crowd favourite, with almost everyone there screaming the lyrics up to the stage.

Takeoffs and Landings came shortly afterwards and was a clear crowd favourite, with almost everyone there screaming the lyrics up to the stage.”

Without missing a beat, the 5-piece band then kicked into another crowd favourite Your Boyfriend Sucks. After this came a bit of a surprise cover as the band played a rendition of Jawbreaker’s Boxcar. It was a good cover and afterwards vocalist/guitarist Kris Roe told the crowd to get rowdy, launching into the next song, during which one of the other guitarists grabbed a set of drumsticks and started banging the floor tom while the drummer continued to play.

Explaining that his regular bandmates weren’t available, Roe said he’d invited some friends out to tour and play instead, introducing each band member in turn. For the next song, all musicians except Roe left the stage, while the vocalist stayed behind to play a heartfelt acoustic rendition of The Saddest Song, a song about him missing his daughter while out on tour.

This was one probably the most emotional point in the set and just to completely 180 degree it, as soon as the song was finished, the four other musicians leapt back onto the stage, launching into the band’s best known song Boys of Summer. The energy in the room was palpable, with the audience singing a kind of call and response for the choruses. Next the band played I Won’t Spend Another Night Alone (a personal favourite of mine, and then Summer ’79, before Roe announced loudly “this is a song about my ex wife” and the band started Looking Back On Today.

For the final part of the evening, the band played 2009’s All Souls’ Day and announced they were only doing a fake final song, and actually had an encore planned. The band left the stage to chanting and clapping before coming back on a few moments later as promised. To tie off the night the band finished with Eight of Nine, which Roe said was his favourite song from ‘So Long, Astoria’, and saw crowd members hopping onto each other’s shoulders and dancing around.

All in all it was a good show, filled with a laid back fun vibe and an opportunity for fans of The Ataris to hear some classic songs from two of the band’s most acclaimed albums.