Atari Teenage Riot and Otto von Schirach @ Gramercy Theater 9.23.11

Alec Empire
Atari Teenage Riot's Alec Empire
An overwhelming week initiated with a wild ride of emotions left us wanting to exert all this excess energy and rage. There was no better place to let loose with Atari Teenage Riot and Otto von Schriach at Gramercy Theater.

When Otto von Schirach walked out looking like a  wrestler with a penchant for bejeweled grandma sweaters, it was apparent this was going to be the ultimate otherworldly freak show. Joined on stage by the silent but potential deadly dancer Lily, the Crack Monster and an inflatable pink flamingo, the Miami producer put on a ridiculous breakbeat funhouse nightmare that won over the early birds. It felt like like watching a faction of the Fantastic Nobodies with their usual musical companions, Modeselektor, present via deep booty-dropping bass (naturally, these kindred spirits have collaborated before.)

Otto von Schirach
The Crack Monster and a masked Otto go crazy
The creepy, unsettling awful good time came to a close after 45 minutes with a song about santeros. The Spanish word caused our ears to perk, as per usual, when Otto introduced the song sans accent. This lead to wondering if he was one of us (we would later find the Cuban/German costumed crazy is :)) and admittedly, his assumed Latino cred was the red bow on the killer-clown-from-outer-space-severed-head-in-a-box of a gift that is his live show.

The thought of being swallowed up the sweaty vortex of adrenaline-fueled madness we envisioned Atari Teenage Riot concerts to embody was scary and intriguing. Surprisingly, the floor was desolate compared to what we expected it to be when the band hit the ground running with opener "Activate!" The digital hardcore trio Alec Empire, Nic Endo and CX Kidtronik eventually lured the shy out of the woodwork with their relentless energy and got a decent mosh pit going that lasted the whole set through.
Nic and CX
ATR's Nic Endo and CX Kidtronik
The crowd rattled to the sound of ATR's best like "Sick to Death," "Delete Yourself" and "Burn, Berlin, Burn!" and new songs "Blood in My Eyes" "Codebreaker" and "The Collapse of History" from most of their current manifesto Is This Hyperreal???. Almost a decade gone, a member lost (R.I.P. Carl Crack) and a member gained in CX Kidtronik, Atari Teenage Riot resurrected in 2010 to finish what they started in a world that continues to be at the mercy of oppressing forces. Alec's monologue in the title track especially echoed the current climate in NYC with the Occupy Wall Street protests taking shape, their non-violent protest against corporate greed subject to police brutality. For an hour we shouted, pumped our fists and danced to these protest songs in solidarity... and it was beautiful. --Cheep

Photos (via)


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