Like any decent fandom, fans of The Airborne Toxic Event have their fair share of memorabilia. From handprints to violas, no price is too high for the most hardcore devotees, who sometimes paying thousands for dollars for their own little piece of TATE history. The most collectible pieces aren’t always the most expensive, though. We’ve made a list of the “must have” collectibles for any TATE fan.
1. Birds, Arrows and Trees, oh my
When you fall in love with this band, suddenly anything bearing the image of a bird on it has some sort of significance. Every arrow and umbrella you see can become reminiscent of TATE logos, and let’s not forget the barren tree. You’ll find many female fans with jewelry featuring any of these images. Men and women alike are known to collect art, shirts and even comforters featuring images that remind them of the band they love.
Bonus Cool Points: If your item was created by an artistic fellow TATE fan, it holds even more significance.
2. Copy of White Noise
We all remember the first time we heard the name. The Timehop Facebook app recently reminded me that 5 years ago I was really digging that “Toxic Airbourne Event.” Once we get the name right, we all eventually start to wonder, what in the world does THAT mean? A quick visit to the band’s wiki page will inform you that the name came from Don DeLillo’s postmodernistic novel, White Noise. Discovering the meaning behind the band’s strange name is usually quickly followed by a purchase of the book from the nearest used book store.
Bonus Cool Points: Not needing to check wiki to get the inspiration behind the name and already owning your own, worn-in copy of the book. Also, getting Mikel to sign a copy is a must.
3. Guitar Picks
In April 2013, the band started posting pictures of something akin to the Holy Grail for TATE fans… personalized guitar picks. Orange and white, each pick featured a small symbol chosen by the respective band member: a sheriff’s star with the name “Noah” on it, La Sirena (a copy of his tattoo) for Mikel, and a Pac-Man ghost for Steven. The TATE fan community let out a collective “oooooo-ahhhhh!” and plotted ways to collect them all. By May 2013, after back to back shows and with a little help from my friends, I had a full set. It seems silly, but any hardcore fan can tell you the immense satisfaction that you feel seeing them side by side in your hand. These are by far one of the most awesome collectible pieces, and they can double as awesome necklaces and earrings.
Bonus Cool Points: Want to own a piece of TATE fan lore? Get yourself a rare Anna pick. Oh yes, they do exist.
If you aren’t hearing fans yell “Pick?? Can I have a pick?!” at the band and their crew after a show, then you are most certainly hearing them yell “SETLIST, PLEASE!!” If you’re really lucky, Mikel or another member of the band will peel their setlist off the floor and hand it directly to you. Otherwise, you’ll be left to battle the masses as the barricade is rushed by fans begging for a small token of the amazing show they just experienced. Knowing the crew’s names helps to get their attention, but you have to be fast as the piece of paper is handed down from the stage, because all bets are off when it comes to acquiring this collectible. The more battle-worn the better, with footprints, spilled drinks and tape only adding to its character.
Bonus Cool Points: Head outside and get the band to sign it, or better yet, make annotations to the setlist changes for you.
5. Picture with the Band
With a band that is always willing to stop and pose for a fan picture, adding this to your stash isn’t so hard, but it is fun. Sometimes after a show, Mikel will jump right into the audience and start chatting with the crowd, posing for pictures and signing tickets. Waiting after a show is the most surefire way to snag one, although depending on the amount of fans waiting, it might be nothing more than a quick snap. Still, being able to say, “Look, here’s proof that I met them!!” is awesome, and these pictures make a perfect addition to your TATE wall at home. (What? Doesn’t everyone have one of those?)
Bonus Cool Points: Getting a pic with them making a silly face.
And one extra, just for fun…
6. Ticket Stubs
Signed or unsigned, these little gems represent perhaps the best collectible of all: memories. I think most of us can agree we crossed over into super fandom after attending a live show, and we all know one isn’t enough. Handfuls of stubs complete our collections, each one helping to tell a different story. No bonus points here; attending the show and the reminder of a memorable night is as good it gets for TATE fans.
Jamie spends most of her days with her husband as they attempt to raise 4 future TATE fans and all around decent human beings. In her free time, when not obsessively listening to her favorite bands and going to concerts, she is also an aspiring seamstress. She writes about her handmade wardrobe on her blog Such a Strange Girl, and is a regular contributor to This Is Nowhere.