Last Night: Atari Teenage Riot At Groundhall

Photos by Matthew Keever
Atari Teenage Riot, Black Congress, Weird Party, Balaclavas
September 29, 2010

Atari Teenage Riot's set began with the entirety of Groundhall encompassed in darkness. As bass beat in everyone's chests, strobe lights lit up the otherwise pitch-black venue. For a good five minutes, ATR let the crowd scream and chant "Ri-ot! Ri-ot!" before finally taking the stage.

As they finally came out, they took to the front of the stage to clap hands with fans and finally grasped their respective microphones and put them to their lips and...

Nothing happened.

Stunned, all three members took to tapping their mikes, shrugging their shoulders and turning up their arms at the elbow, the international sign language for "What the hell?" Then they walked offstage, and the crowd began to get rowdy.

We were actually a bit worried there was about to be, a what? A girl fight! But seriously, neither the band nor the fans were pleased.

About five minutes later, most of the technical difficulties had been handled. ATR reappeared onstage to even more applause and proceeded to make half the crowd dance while the other half moshed.

We couldn't make out any of the lyrics, but a lot of people in attendance were singing screaming along. We weren't sure what to expect from ATR's set - since they're back from a 10 year hiatus and all, nevermind the whole anti-Neo-Nazi thing - but Aftermath thoroughly enjoyed what we heard.

It was danceable, it was fast, it was bright, it was fun, and boy was it loud. Really, really, really loud.

We should have brought earplugs.

Interestingly, some employees of Groundhall told us that it wasn't nearly as loud as it was supposed to be. Apparently, even once the apparent sound problems had been taken care of, some lesser-noticed troubles persisted.

While it was supposed to sound and feel "like a machine gun hitting your chest and ear drums," the sound engineers told us the volume level was more akin to that of a DJ's set.

It was supposed to be louder? Dear God... Nonetheless, ATR put on a strong set, and the crowd, including Houston's own Fat Tony and B L A C K I E, ate it up.

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