Airborne Toxic Event at the House of Blues

The Airborne Toxic Event 960x360

Performance Description:
Date: May 24, 2013
The Airborne Toxic Event played before 50 lucky River listeners on Friday afternoon May 24th, 2013 in the Foundation Room before their sold out House of Blues show later that evening.

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Read Danielle’s Review

Danielle Frederick
Of all the artists I have written about thus far, The Airborne Toxic Event most likely has the most recognizable name.  This recognition comes from the popularity of the band’s singles “Sometime Around Midnight” and “Changing.”  Despite their fame, the band receives mixed reviews.  Some bloggers roll their eyes at the tired theme of failed love that seems to run through a vast majority of the band’s songs, that now span three albums.  However, it is not The Airborne Toxic Event’s (also known as TATE) fault that many artists write about love.  What bolsters this band’s credibility is that the lead singer, Mikel Jollett, writes the lyrics.  Prior to becoming a musician, he set out to become a writer.  Thus, the words that resound out of him recall personal events and echo the whispers of memories.

This aspect marks one trait in the long list that makes The Airborne Toxic Event worth listening to.  While I agree that TATE seems to dwell on heartbreak, the group does know how to set up an album.  There is a fair amount of discernible sorrow and out right anger in many of the tunes created from to 2006 to present.  Nevertheless, each album has points of relief.  When listening to the band’s first album, which was self titled and released in 2007, “Something New” offers sounds brighter than the rest of the album.  Regardless of the lyrics, “callous mouth, all your endless doubts,” the higher notes of the string instruments keeps the song light, reflecting the idea that, while the couple has had their troubles, they are headed towards “something new.”

Similarly, “True Love,” from the most recent album, Such Hot Blood, released last April, provides listeners with a little pick me up.  As I previewed this album I almost had to hit pause until this song played.  As mentioned, the tracks are undeniably sad and sometimes become aggressively angry.  Still, with songs like the last two I mentioned, the singers prove that breakups and let downs can be talked, or sung, about with a slightly positive flare.

Many emotions are involved in love, hence why love is referred to as a roller coaster.  The Airborne Toxic Event excels at exploring each emotion and expressing these feelings in albums full of a range of sounds, although often dominated by darker tones.  Listening to the progression of the three albums, one can note a definite move to a more balanced spectrum of emotions, keeping audiences eager for the bands next release and further growth.

Read more reviews from Danielle’s blog, “Singing Along”

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