I was still recovering from the Idles show that happened on Thursday night and honestly almost completely forgot about the fact that there was another killer show in town on Friday night. I’ll be honest, with how good Idle was, I was a bit worried that no matter who I saw next, it just wouldn’t be good enough to keep my attention. Enter Angels and Airwaves.
But first, before we get to the almighty AVA, let’s talk about those openers from the packed Skyway Theatre show on Friday night. Kicking things off was a newer band called 1990nowhere. I had never heard of this band before the show last night and I wasn’t the only one. Declaring that this was only their seventh show of all time, this band powered through their opening set like they were seasoned veterans. They had a very clean and cohesive sound that was well polished while still having a sense of personality and fun to it. With an overall feeling of nostalgia and a constant infectious beat in their music, 1990nowhere was the perfect way to get the Friday night started and they are a band that will most certainly be a household name in no time.
Second to take the stage was Bad Suns. With a light-hearted and fun show full of almost disco-like beats, Bad Suns had the entire audience dancing and singing along to their songs. Although these guys’ music is just a bit too poppy for my personal taste, I found myself bopping and singing along to their catchy tracks while having my eyes glued to the stage. Vocalist Christo Bowman is definitely a showman but an understated kind of showman. He did a great job of putting his flawless vocals first while still entertaining the crowd and bringing and undeniable sense of energy to the stage. I mean, the whole band brought an undeniable sense of energy to the stage but there was just something about Christo that was impossible to look away from.
The opening sets from both 1990nowhewre and Bad Suns seemed to fly by. You could feel the anticipation and excitement throughout the nearly sold-out audience and it all came to a peak as the one and only Angels and Airwaves took the stage right around 9:45. Fronted by Tom DeLonge of Blink 182 fame, this band may not be my favorite side-project of the Blink 182 members but it’s definitely one of the ones that has the most interesting sound to me and hearing that translate into a live show is always such a treat.
Although on tour to support their new album ‘Lifeforms’ (which is one of the best albums to come out this year so make sure to check it out), AVA didn’t put themselves in a box by doing a full album playthrough. Instead, the band played through songs that span the entirety of their brilliant six album career with a perfectly curated set that had the audience eating up every word. One thing that sets AVA apart from other projects out there right now is their use of ambient sounds mixed with Tom’s distinct vocals and the band’s brilliant instrumentation creating an almost other-worldy sound. When you add their brilliant light show to the mix, you are left with a show that, even if you don’t know the music, will leave you completely captivated and stunned. It seemed like with every song of their fifteen song set that passed, I found myself getting more lost in their world and that was more than fine with me.
Tom DeLonge has always been a bit of a jokester with an almost child-like sense of humor and that came out in the spotlight throughout the show on Friday. With jokes about the “hot little birdies” that reside in Minneapolis to a story about how foreplay is like when he uses a feather to tickle your dad’s…. Well, I’ll just stop there. What I’m trying to say is that although AVA’s music can emit so much emotion from the lyrics to just the overall mood the music has, Tom is still just as goofy as ever and has a brilliant way of blending the two together. “Oh, I have to play music?” he joked as his guitar tech tried to replace the microphone in Tom’s hand with his guitar. It was little moments like that throughout the night that gave the night a feeling of community and family and almost had me completely forgetting what a big deal AVA and the members of this band are.
From the moments full of laughter when Tom had control of the microphone to the moments of pure bliss when you could literally feel the music in your heart and soul– Friday night’s Angels and Airwaves show was another amazing night of live music in what has been one of the best strings of concerts to hit the cities in recent memory.