Six years on and with four albums under their belt, Angels & Airwaves still receive a mixed response but you can’t help from looking around tonight that the “aura” of frontman Tom DeLonge is still a draw for the band.
However before DeLonge and company come on, Florida’s Le Blorr receive a warm response with their mix of prog rock and southern hard rock. Frankly its a mix that leaves a lot of heads scratching, and it seems like the trio slightly suffer from an identity crisis. Nevertheless they are able to keep the crowds attention throughout and are a suitable support act.
If anyone knows Angels & Airwaves well, they would know they think big and tonight is no difference. With an elaborate light show that makes the band often look like silhouettes, it superbly compliments the bands grand take of spacy arena-rock throughout.
Early on the band showcase material from the recent ‘LOVE’ albums, and although tracks like ‘Young London’ and ‘Dry Your Eyes’ are welcomed openly, its not until first single, ‘The Adventure’ the show truly kicks into touch. With a party-like atmosphere, Rock City sings in unison, whilst ‘Everything’s Magic’ and ‘Anxiety’ keeps up the momentum as DeLonge confidently takes center stage.
Later on he has the crowd in the palm of his hand as he tells a humorous story of how he lost his virginity before proudly performing ‘There Is,’ a moment which is one of the highlights of the night as everyone is hanging on to his every word.
It has to be said new member Ilam Rubin makes his mark on the band with a stunning performance on the piano before the band return to the stage to perform ‘We Are All That We Are,’ a track slowly builds to a remarkable conclusion that givesway to the powerful finale that is ‘The War.’ With is pounding drums, handclaps and anthemic chorus, AVA triumphantly finish the night off on a high.
With a mixture of bold, atmospheric arena-sized numbers and a stage presence to match, Angels & Airwaves have tonight silenced their doubters and have delivered an impressive and memorable show.
Words by Sean Reid