Review: The Airborne Toxic Event Fillmore Residency Night 2 (All At Once)

Posted: September 20, 2014 in Clamoring of the Crowd
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
The Airborne Toxic Event's Steven Chen takes flight at The Fillmore. Sept. 19, 2014. Photo by Glen.

The Airborne Toxic Event’s Steven Chen takes flight at The Fillmore. Sept. 19, 2014. Photo by Glen.

By Glen

The Airborne Toxic Time Machine jumped back to 2010/11 on night two of The Airborne Toxic Event’s Fillmore residency on Friday night, as the band presented their sophomore album All At Once to a delirious in-house crowd and a worldwide audience that tuned in through Yahoo! Screen.

Whereas the previous night’s show found the band in full throttle rock mode from beginning to end, the follow-up showed off the full range of Airborne’s versatility, allowing viewers to sample the many diverse flavors the group has to offer. The result was a set that gave both band and audience some room to breathe, with a number of ballads and mid-tempo numbers mixed in among the more high octane tunes.

The first half of the show found TATE ripping through the featured album with many highlights along the way. Though a good two thirds of the tracks on the record have been setlist staples for the past three-plus years, that still left a number of rarely played treats on the menu.

The first on that list was “All For a Woman,” which enthralled the audience with singer Mikel Jollett’s impassioned vocal delivery and Steven Chen’s shimmering guitar solo. (The band’s new configuration found Steven taking lead electric guitar, with Adrian Rodriguez holding down bass – unlike the former arrangement which saw Steven and original bassist Noah Harmon swap instruments for the song.)

Next up was “It Doesn’t Mean a Thing,” which was ever-so-slightly slowed down from the Gasoline-esque pace of the studio album. Hot on the heels of that one came the one-two anti-war punch of “The Kids Are Ready to Die” and “Welcome to Your Wedding Day,” with the former played punk style a la the All At Once Tour.

The undeniable highlight of the album portion of the set came in the form of “Strange Girl,” a song that Mikel introduced as being about how, as an adult, you wish you were as passionate about anything as you were about a song by The Cure when you were 16 years old. (Incidentally, I can personally attest to the fact that some of us are even more passionate about our music as adults than we ever were as teenagers!) We had previously wondered whether “Strange Girl” would be played in upbeat fashion as per the album, or in the stripped-down ballad format favored by the band during their previous (rare) live performances. The answer: both/and. It started off slow, with all focus on Mikel’s arresting vocals, but as the first verse wound down, pausing just long enough to have me wondering if we might only get a truncated version, the band kicked into high gear and presented the rest of the song at full power. It was a rapturous performance; one that would be most welcome to be repeated as the tour progresses.

An amusing moment came during the ever-popular, album-closing “The Graveyard Near the House.” After Anna Bulbrook made a mistake by repeating the first “You have no idea about me” ahead of schedule, one could detect just the slightest hint of playful chastisement as Mikel glanced at her accusingly as he sang, “Did you memorize your lines, ’cause I did…”

The next question to be answered was what rarities would be pulled out of the hat. Rather than playing B-sides from All At Once, the band dipped into the All I Ever Wanted live album and dusted off a couple of seldom-played fan favorites: “A Letter to Georgia” and “Goodbye Horses.” Scratch two more off my ever-dwindling bucket list.

Moving into more current material, the first Such Hot Blood tune of the residency, “Safe,” was sandwiched between a pair of songs from the yet-to-be-released fourth album, “California” and “Wrong.” “California” differed from the arrangement seen at recent festivals, as Steven stuck to guitar and did not have to juggle two sets of keys on top of that; Anna provided all that was needed in that regard. “Wrong,” meanwhile, is just so damn right. Fans had been buzzing all day about its premiere the previous night, and on second listen it was even stronger.

After closing the main set with “Sometime Around Midnight,” the band took some time to revise their planned encore. Obviously feeling the urge to go out with a bang, the setlisted “Duet” was scratched in favor of a spontaneous “Does This Mean You’re Moving On?” which opened with an extended drum trio from Daren Taylor, Mikel and Adrian, and climaxed with Steven leaping from the elevated drum riser as he struck the familiar riff. Before long, Mikel was into the crowd for selfies and monkey dancing. (Brief aside: “Moving On” opened the encore at my first TATE show, and for my money, it’s still the best song for that slot.)

The energy continued to flow through a raucous “Happiness is Overrated” and “Hell and Back,” before they turned it down a notch for “The Book of Love,” which found Mikel sitting on the edge of the stage, delivering a moment of intimacy to some lucky fans in the front row.

Finally, the band reconvened to sign off for another night with their signature “Missy”/”I Fought the Law” combo, leaving an exhausted crowd in their wake as they disembarked to rest up and prepare for the third and final night of this memorable San Franciscan adventure. All told, we were treated to a massive 22-song setlist that featured just ten repeats from the previous evening. The scope of what TATE is undertaking this week, and on this tour in general, is truly remarkable. We can’t wait to see what the grand finale has in store.

Click here for the setlist.

Click here to download our FREE digital Fillmore programme.

Missed the live stream? It’s being replayed for 24 hours on Yahoo! Screen.

Glen, Fan of The Airborne Toxic Event Glen 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.

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Comments
  1. peterx says:

    The stream isn’t working this morning. 😦 Neither of the below links are playing it. You can get the Lollapalooza video, but not from last night.

    https://screen.yahoo.com/live/event/airborne-toxic-event

    https://screen.yahoo.com/popular/airborne-toxic-event-live-concert-130000997.html

    Anyone know where to get the show from last night?

    Like

  2. Yorick says:

    Great review, sadly I want to watch it all over again and can’t get the replay to work (I’m within the first 24 hour period).

    Like

  3. treendabean says:

    Great recap as usual, Glen.
    I am so glad I was able to catch this on the live stream last night. To me the performance that came after they played the entire AAO was better, like they were just hastily firing through the album then once that was done they just let loose. Which isn’t to say their AAO was bad or disappointing, just felt like they were plowing through it to get to the better stuff. I did like that they did up-tempo version of Kids, I just loved Wrong (like really loved it, I hope it’s a single soon) and was thrilled they played Safe and Letter to Georgia.
    What did Mikel say when he sat down for Book of Love? “Hey, that kinda hurts”? Overwrought fan?

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. […] like this. And so, having already reported on the minutiae of each performance (see here, here and here), I’m ready to take a step back and reflect on the event as a […]

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  8. […] 19: Night two of The Fillmore residency is live streamed by Yahoo! Screen; All At Once is played in […]

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