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The Ataris, Dynamite Boy, Next To Nothing and Antifreeze
May 14, 2001
At Fitzgerald's
Houston, TX

by Samuel Barker
May 16, 2001

Despite being booked only a few days before the show took place, we were able to get the hook up to catch one of the best bands around today, The Ataris. I was disappointed at first to see that the show was downstairs, but in the end it worked out for the best.

The first band to play was Antifreeze. This band drove down from Wisconsin to play this show which was a huge plus to begin with. One top of this, the band put on a great performance. They utilized 3 vocalists which kept the sound fresh. They were a great band that got wasted in the opening slot. The funniest part of the night was when they asked some ladies to come up on the stage to help them sing "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." This was a great moment. The band closed with "Our Band." This song was a hilarious finisher, it was cheesy, but that was the whole point.

The next band up was Houston's own, Next To Nothing. They really didn't have a good set at all. Come to find out after the show that they didn't even get a sound check, which made the bass really loud, and the guitar way too low. Combine this with faulty equipment and you're left with a really terrible set. I was also bothered by the fact that the singer sounded like someone doing a bad Joe Pesci impression on the first song, but he did get better as time went on.

Near the end they finally started getting it together, but it was too late to pull them back up to the level the other bands played at. I am very interested to see them when they are at their peak level, but for this night everything went wrong and nothing sounded right.

When Dynamite Boy took the stage I was stoked. They always put on a great show and tonight was no different. Sean's guitar playing was awesome as always, and the energy from El Nino was through the roof. They rocked through all the crowd favorites and even covered AC/DC's "TNT." Everytime I see this band they get better. I feel lucky to see them grow over the past 4 or 5 years. I really see them making it big in the future and being a staple in the punk scene. They write great songs and Sean's vocals makes the sound completely gel. This band is a definite must see.

After fighting through some bad amp heads and some bad feedback, The Ataris took the stage and proceeded to rock everyone there. This was great way to see this band play. This set made you totally love the idea that the show was in the more intimate downstairs setting. The bassist of the band was broken out with hives, but you could hardly tell from the crowd. It was funny because they kept messing with him about it.

Kris Roe did a great job of getting everyone into the set by standing on the edge of the stage in the crowd, jumping up on the crowd while playing, and putting on a damn good show. They played a lot of songs from all their albums. They even played "The Radio Still Sucks" and then a revised version, "The President Still Sucks." It was a nice show because the band was really tired from a long tour and just playing this show to mess around and have fun. You could feel the absence of seriousness in the set and the band's enjoyment of not having the pressure. I think everyone walked away from this set with a great feeling and some wonderful memories.

Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.

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