Since living in North Jersey, I haven’t taken advantage of all the unique venues in my area. That all changed on Sunday. I made my way to Hoboken, NJ to catch the Blue Skies, Broken Hearts…Next 12 Exits Tour featuring The Ataris at the newly resurrected Maxwell’s. I must say, I never been to the original Maxwell’s, but what I saw as far as food, atmosphere, and appearance, the place seems very enjoyable. Either way, check out Hoboken, it is one of the better North Jersey towns and has a beautiful view of New York City.
Now on with the show. Opening the night was sort of local band, from Trenton, The Cryptkeeper Five. I didn’t know much about the band except that I grew up on EC comics, mostly Tales From The Crypt, and liked the reference in their name. The Cryptkeeper Five is a punk band that blends influences from The Misfits, The Ramones, with hints of ’50’s style rock music like Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly. The Cryptkeeper Five is no stranger to the music scene either. Being around since the late ’90’s, and it shows, they put on a loud hard hitting show. I could see this band playing The Fest in Florida or maybe even a band like Flogging Molly. It looked like a lot of people in audience, including me, got our first exposure to the band. With a pretty extensive set list, The Cryptkeeper Five gave the crowd a good representation of themselves.
Ending the night was The Ataris playing their second full length album Blue Skies, Broken Hearts…Next 12 Exits. I am not sure what the sound scan numbers are on this album, but they must be fairly high since this was the album that got the band more exposure. I don’t believe it surpassed So Long, Astoria which I also saw played in full live. See: So Long Astoria Tour Photos HERE
Like a lot of other people, Blue Skies is an album that I connected with right away while growing up. The first time I heard a song by The Ataris and off Blue Skies was in middle school, but the song came from a Kung Fu Records compilation album called No Stars, Just Talent. I then picked up a copy of Blue Skies with in a few weeks, had to save my allowance. Blue Skies taught me about girls, friends, and life. It’s funny because while growing up, I loved the beginning of the album more than the end. Being a young teen, songs like “San Dimas”, “Your Boyfriend Sucks”, and “I Won’t Spend Another Night Alone” are simplistic, catchy, and all about girls. As a teen you think, “these are how I feel, Kris Roe got it right!” However, as I got older, I find myself leaning away from the first half. I still love those songs, a lot of memories attached to them, but songs, like “Life Makes No Sense” and “Answer:” take a more mature approach. Knowing what I know now, songs like those are what I crave from The Ataris. They have more of an edge to them and offer more than just songs about girls.
The way the album was played live wasn’t in order. Not sure why, but there was nothing wrong with that because this line up of The Ataris may be the best. Kris Roe and company played flawlessly while adding in the new Ataris sound to some songs like “Your Boyfriend Sucks”. I know a lot of people have their views on The Ataris and Kris Roe, but if you just see them live, you’ll remember why you love/loved them so much. After playing Blue Skies, they played a four song encore which featured, “In This Diary”, two Misfits cover, they are in New Jersey you know, and “Boys Of Summer”. I’d wish they play some new songs, like the one’s on their bandcamp because they sound amazing, but I guess I’ll have to wait for them to come back to town again. Hopefully that’s soon.