Live. Angels and Airwaves.

Angels and Airwaves came to the UK for a quick one week tour in support of their double album and film, Love. This tour concluded with a sold out show at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire on April 14th 2013.

Support came from Le Blorr, a twopiece band from Florida, USA. Live, they take on a third member to add depth to their sound. Le Blorr sound like an American remake of Tubelord. Their electro-math rock sounded good but was lost on a majority of the audience, even with lead singer ‘Cookie’ trying his hardest to win over the crowd, mentioning Angels and Airwaves numerous occasions just to try and get some sort of reaction from the crowd who were, at best, apathetic.

Taking to the stage thirty minutes later, backed by the epic and drawn out intro to Saturday Love, Angels and Airwaves walked on stage. Few words were said as they kicked off with the afore mentioned track, following it with It Hurts and Surrender before the band stopped to take a breath and welcome the crowd to the show.

Angels and Airwaves has always been seen as Tom Delonge’s other band, and tonight he does all he can to distinguish AVA from Blink 182. The latter are renowned for their engaging onstage chemistry and banter, by contrast all four members of  Angels and Airwaves spend a majority of the show as silhouettes, hidden by the backlit stage. There’s little time for onstage banter, as the band run through a very slick set that rises, hits crescendos, then drops effortlessly. The space-rock music that intruded on Blink 182’s self titled album has been given room to grow in Angels and Airwaves and it’s flourished into an epic sound that fills the room and sets a very unique and striking atmosphere that holds the whole audience.

After ‘Call to Arms’ Tom treads familiar ground as he introduces the next song. After being starved of interaction, the crowd are hanging onto every word of Tom Delonge’s tale which revolves around himself as a teenager and a friends sister. You can fill in the rest. Tom then launched into a solo rendition of Box Car Racer classic, ‘There Is’. Not only did this track slow things down, providing a much needed change of pace but  lyrically it offered a stark contrast to anything else we’d heard that night, focusing very much on the personal rather than the grand, encompassing lyrics that Tom favours with AVA.

Following on from ‘There Is’ the band end the main set with Hallucinations, my favourite track from the Love albums, and Secret Crowds before disappearing from the stage. The usual chants for an encore rang out throughout Shepherds Bush Empire but before retaking the stage, Angels and Airwaves played out the epilogue from their Love film, which is incredibly emotive and powerful. If you haven’t seen the film yet, you really should check it out but to paraphrase horribly, ‘we were all part of something tonight, just for a moment, we were part of something bigger.’  With that thought still ringing in the ears of the audience, Illan Rubin then indulged in an incredible piano solo that led into the rest of the band taking the stage to finish with ‘All That We Are’ and ‘The War’

Angels and Airwaves make epic music that is heavily atmospheric with massive scope and depth. For them to transfer that to a live environment without losing any of the majesty is a real testament to their musical abilities and commitment to the songs. However creating the atmosphere meant the crowd interaction suffered and it wasn’t until late in the evening that this was rectified. When all the elements are there, Angels and Airwaves really are a fabulous live act, however I think at times their desire to taken seriously impairs on their ability to deliver. Hopefully when it becomes apparent that there’s room in Tom’s life for both Blink and AVA, AVA will settle as a band and start taking themselves a little less seriously.

Angels and Airwaves will be back in the UK in August for mainstage slots at the Reading/Leeds Festival.

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~ by justdip on 10/05/2012.

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