This past Friday, I saw Atari Teenage Riot at Sonar. I was really excited. I saw them almost 13 years ago at the 930 Club in DC (yes, I have been attending concerts since I was young), and thought they were awesome. But part of me wondered, as an adult, if my perception of their performance would be different now. After all, I was easier to impress back then, and I have since seen countless shows and have played many myself.

Seeing them last week affirmed to me that they were, in fact, awesome – back then and now. It's like time hadn't passed, either. They were just as passionate about the subjects of which they were singing and the energy was just as intense, if not more so, than when I saw them in the 90s. The next day I even felt beaten up (in a good way, lol) and some of my friends said the same thing.

The line-up is a little bit different now. Hanin Elias was not with them, and Carl Crack died in 2001. I met him at the concert in 1997, and he was an absolute sweetheart – even giving me a cantaloupe to take home. That's how he was. I am still saddened by his death and while it was sad that he was not there, CX KiDTRONiK fit perfectly with the band and was awesome. I can't think of anyone else who could fill Carl Crack's shoes.

In the 90s, there were a lot more political, in-your-face bands that weren't afraid to be different, unique, and edgy. They weren't one-size-fits-all bands, nor did they want to be. I miss this a lot. Even bands that I may not have agreed with 100%, I still loved their passion and the fact that they were thinking on a deeper level than a lot of other artists. Listening to these bands – whether you agreed fully or partially – got you thinking. It got the juices flowing intellectually and creatively.

Alec Empire and CherryTeresa Nic Endo and CherryTeresa CX KiDTRONiK and CherryTeresa

Alec Empire, in case you didn't know, is very talented and an originator. He basically created the genre of digital hardcore, and then started his own record label Digital Hardcore Recordings. The work he has done in ATR and as a solo artist is awesome.

Nic Endo was a big influence on me as a young teenager and a musician. She was, and still is, a very powerful, unique, talented artist. I really felt like I could relate to her – not just because she is a female musician of EurAsian descent (like me – though that certainly helped a lot) – but also because of her personality and music. She makes noise records as a solo artist and I love it.

I have only recently known about CX KiDTRONiK, but he is very accomplished himself. He co-produced Consequence's "Whatever U Want" (featuring Kanye West and John Legend), and is an innovative solo artist. He has an intense energy and stage presence that I definitely enjoyed watching and hearing. He gave me this sticker:

ATR continues playing shows in North America this week and next week, and then they will go back on tour in Europe starting in November.