Toxicity 11

Posted: October 9, 2013 in Toxicity
Tags: , , , , , , ,

By Glen

As The Airborne Toxic Event wows audiences from one end of Europe to the other, live photo galleries have been plentiful. This week we look at a bunch of them and delve into the challenges of shooting TATE live. We’ve also got album reviews, a discussion about selling out, and a fun story of Airborne in a bowling showdown with another up and coming band. No shortage of content for Toxicity 11.

Shot in the Dark

The past few weeks of the tour have been a treasure trove for photo hunters. But getting great photos is not easy. Since the Such Hot Blood tour kicked off in the spring, many TATE fans have commented that the band seems to be playing in the dark most nights – particularly the four members other than Mikel. The lighting has been kept very low outside of center stage, which certainly makes it more difficult for photogs to get A+ shots.

Amber Stokosa shot the recent Lansing, MI gig, and she comments on the challenging lighting in Lights Up for American Authors, Lights Down for Airborne Toxic Event:

The DJ from the local alternative radio station hopped on stage between acts to announce Airborne Toxic Event, and while he was talking the bright orange face light was turned about halfway down. I figured it would be back up when the band started playing, but I was wrong. It’s like that one front light is IT. Anything out of the light gets lost in shadows. I was really looking forward to taking some photos of ATE’s female violinist but she was in constant darkness; not to mention the fact that my autofocus could barely find her, let alone find the singer’s face. *sigh*

Despite the obstacles, Amber managed to capture some incredible images:

Amber Stokosa Photography: Airborne Toxic Event @ The Loft &emdash;

Lighting was no issue at Weenie Roast in Charlotte, NC, and it shows in this gorgeous collection by Tradin’ Paint and Music Photography.

Concerts Captured has a proud history of beautiful TATE photography, having shot them on several previous occasions. The lead-off European gig in Birmingham afforded them another opportunity to do their thing, and as always, the results did not disappoint.

Elsewhere in Europe, RIT Photography shows off their gritty style, while Kieran Frost’s colorful collection captures the flavor of the Dublin show.

Such Hot Reviews

The Euro release of Such Hot Blood hasn’t generated the volume of album reviews one might have expected, but those that we’ve seen have been very positive.

Candid Online praises the album for its accomplished instrumentation, and its thought provoking, meaningful lyrics. The writer makes a raft of comparisons to other artists – how apt do you think these are?

Their sound is a melting pot of other influences, merging Biffy Clyro’s angry celtic sounding vocals (‘The Way Home’) with The Vaccines riffs (‘The Secret’), adding a dash of Mumford and Sons folksy cool and a touch of Arcade Fire with their female singer and heavy use of strings. Whilst listening to ‘Such Hot Blood’ I was also taken back to my childhood in the 90s, as there were hints of old-school bands such as Crowded House and Pulp… Lead singer Mikel Jollett has a vocal quality similar to 30 Seconds To Mars frontman Jared Leto…

Meanwhile, a German review from Rock Times notes that the band successfully treads the line between melancholy and depressing without falling into the latter – an important distinction. Likewise, the reviewer, Boris Theobald, is impressed with Mikel’s voice, and his unique ability to reflect strength and fragility in the same breath. But the real highlights, in the opinion of the writer, are those moments when Mikel and Anna’s voices combine in perfect harmony. The Fifth Day, in particular, is a goosebumps experience.

Selling Out

As part of their appearance at Weenie Roast, the band engaged in an interview with Jack Daniel of Radio 106.5. Though everything remains friendly (with Mikel doing his best hillbilly impression), towards the end it has a bit of a feel of a verbal joust, as Daniel seems determined to convince the group of the merits of selling their music for commercial purposes, while TATE (particularly Mikel) simply refuses to bite. He says the band’s rule of thumb has always been: “If it makes your stomach turn, don’t do it.” Though a recent conversation with Fitz (of The Tantrums) did cause him to think on the issue a bit, he ultimately concludes that the extraordinary devotion of their fan base is due in part to the band’s commitment to staying true to their art and refusing to take the quick road to success.

What do you think – are you ready for a Changing tampon ad?

Naked Bowling

Meanwhile, The Naked and Famous shed a little light on a whole different aspect of the music business. What goes on behind the scenes at a major music festival? You may be surprised by their tale of The Battle of the Bands: Bowling Edition. Most pressing question: did they wear bowling shoes? No word on who won.

Toxic Gold

Sticking with the festival theme, we close with two classic videos from Lollapalooza 2009. First, Mikel channels his inner Mick Jagger, and a shirtless Daren burns his feet as he leaves the stage. Then, the band blows the sky off the outdoor venue with a showstopping performance of Innocence.

Glen, Fan of The Airborne Toxic EventGlen is the founder and editor of This Is Nowhere. He’s grateful for an understanding wife and kids who indulge his silly compulsion to chase a band all over the Pacific Northwest (and occasionally beyond) every time the opportunity arises.

  1. Erika McGuire says:

    I snorted beer through my nose whilst reading the tAmpon add bit. Well played Sir. 🙂


  2. Susan says:

    Bowling w/Naked – this must be a video of this somewhere.


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