Review: The Airborne Toxic Event at Buckhead Theatre, Atlanta, GA, Sept. 28, 2014

Posted: October 5, 2014 in Clamoring of the Crowd
Tags: , , ,
Steven Chen of The Airborne Toxic Event takes a turn on the keys. Photo by Amber, Atlanta, GA, Sept. 28, 2014.

Steven Chen of The Airborne Toxic Event takes a turn on the keys. Photo by Amber, Atlanta, GA, Sept. 28, 2014.

By Amber

First off, I want to say what a wonderful job Glen and the other TIN writers have done with this blog. I love the idea of fans getting together, and all sharing their experiences. I am new to the blog, but very happy to be a part of the madness. This blog is representative of how this band is so much more than just their music. In a way, the fans across the globe are “tied like two in tethers” because of their immense love for this band. I was able to see it first hand at the Atlanta show on September 28th 2014.

The weekend of September 26th might be the most hectic weekend of my life. I had to celebrate four birthdays in only three days, help a friend study for a major anatomy practical, and attend my favorite band’s concert. The concert was going to be my gift to myself after a wonderful, expensive, and crazy three day daze. It more than worth it.

I was fortunate enough to attend TATE’s Cinco-de-Mayo show last year at the Buckhead Theatre, and I was amazed by the amount of energy this band brought with them from across the country. I couldn’t possibly fathom Airborne bringing even more energy this time around, but they most certainly did. I convinced my friend to tag along if I helped her study for her lab practical that was going to take place the following evening, and we decided to meet up with a friend from our university and her mother (who is also a big TATE fan). We had a nice pre-show pizza dinner, and decided to head over to the venue about two hours before the doors were even supposed to open to claim our spot up front. Much to our dismay there was a line of around 20 people who had our exact idea, so we jumped in behind. While waiting we chatted about funny prank videos, and played the name game when we noticed the local radio station pull up. They were very professional, asking questions to the fans, but one question stood out. The two gentlemen repping radio 107.1 noticed that two members of the growing line traveled all the way from Indiana to be at this show. I thought to myself, “That right there is dedication!” But then the two, young radio personalities followed up with a question to the ever growing queue wrapping around the Buckhead, the answer to which showed what a following TATE has accumulated over these splendid eight years. “How many of you attending this show are from Georgia or are coming from the Atlanta area?” Out of around 50+ attendees in range to hear the question, only half the hands were raised, maximum. I was floored, and I still am.

Adrian Rodriguez of The Airborne Toxic Event. Photo by Amber, Atlanta, GA, Sept. 28, 2014.

Adrian Rodriguez of The Airborne Toxic Event. Photo by Amber, Atlanta, GA, Sept. 28, 2014.

At 7:30 PM the doors started to open, and fans started to pile in. Luckily, many of the fans rushed to the restrooms and merchandise tables allowing for my friends and I to beeline right to the front of the venue, getting a prime spot in front of the tambourine titan herself!

The opening band, In The Valley Below, was excellent in terms of musicianship. The guitarist was so fun to watch as he bounced around the stage, playing his heart out. The female singer was a kooky kind of cool. The drummer was my favorite though. He seemed the most reserved of the three, but he rocked the hardest. My friend, who is along for the ride and doesn’t really know much about the opener or TATE, really enjoyed their set. And I agreed.

As the opening band left, and the stage crew was setting up for the main attraction, I tried to explain to my hopeful convert exactly who these individuals that compromise TATE are. I gave her names to correlate with positions on the stage, and she picked up quick. And before we knew it the lights were dimmed, and the clamoring of the crowd was numbing all of my senses.

TATE started off with crowd pumping numbers like “Welcome to Your Wedding Day” and “Papillon.” It was all happening way too quickly. I honestly felt like I was in a daze. This moment I had been waiting for nearly two months now was flying by me. The opening notes of “Gasoline” echoed through the venue, Anna grabbed her violin to play her solo, and… silence. Technical difficulties had robbed Anna of her rockin’ solo, but had thankfully snapped me back into real time. I observed as Anna struggled to solve the enigma, but instead decided to substitute the solo with a keyboard ditty. The improvisation obviously caught Mikel off guard, raising a playfully teasing yet impressed expression from the singer. Mikel poked additional fun at his right-hand woman after the anthem’s conclusion by rousing audience applause for “Anna Bulbrook, Ladies and Gentlemen!”

The energy level surging through the audience and up on the stage was only intensifying as the night progressed. My hopeful convert was standing next to me asking the name of each song, soaking it all in. Banter and teasing between singer, audience, and guitarist ensued when Steven struck the opening cords for “Happiness,” plastering a smile on all parties involved. The band’s sound was crystal clear during the “Happiness” intro, and Mikel tantalized the audience members by going off on mid-intro tangents, as per usual. After “Happiness” came “Something New,” with Mikel serenading Anna, then the audience, and then Anna some more. The playfulness on display between the two band members this night was possibly the most adorable thing I have ever witnessed.

Anna Bulbrook and Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event. Photo by Amber, Atlanta, GA, Sept. 28, 2014.

Anna Bulbrook and Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event. Photo by Amber, Atlanta, GA, Sept. 28, 2014.

Two of the band’s most recent songs were bashed through rather quickly, “Dope Machines” and “Hell and Back,” leaving the fans guessing what was in store next. “Well Atlanta, we’re going to play an anti-war song in the middle of our fucking show,” announced Jollett as the band started up with “The Winning Side,” which I was thrilled to hear live. By this point in the show I was completely absorbed in the moment, nearly to the point of convincing myself this was all some weird dream that doesn’t end. “Numb,” “Wishing Well,” and “Wrong” had the audience dancing along and jumping around “like a bunch of fucking monkeys,” but when the lights dimmed, and Anna took her stance at the front of the stage, the entire crowd froze. The next four songs had everyone entranced. “Sometime Around Midnight,” “All I Ever Wanted,” “Innocence” and “All At Once” built upon each other as the spectacle was nearing the summit. The band left the stage and the fans screamed for an encore, which was answered by a beautiful acoustic performance of “Graveyard” and “Elizabeth.” “Bride and Groom” stirred up the crowd energy, preparing us for a heart pounding descent. “Moving On” elicited one-on-one time between Mikel and his adoring fans. The singer was drenched in sweat from playing so feverishly throughout the night, but the diehards surely didn’t mind. I, for certain, will forever cherish the sweaty high-fives eagerly dished out by Jollett and Adrian.

The next song I was honestly dreading to hear the whole night. Not because I have a hatred for the folky track, but because it would ultimately mean the arrival back to earth. “Missy” is one of my favorite Airborne songs, and I love watching it performed because Mikel always uses that moment to shine the spotlight on his band. Daren’s drum solo is kick ass too! This band always ends a show with more energy than they started with, and this event was no exception. My hopeful convert was a full-fledged TATE fan, and we even scored her a pick. The one regret I have is not staying to meet the band afterwards. I have met each member before (including Noah), and I was looking forward to greeting the new bassist, but reality beckoned. However, you bet I will be first in line to greet the band after the next Atlanta show!

Click here for the setlist.

AmberAmber is a recent college graduate with a degree in Biology. She is a Naturalist for a local non-profit. She leads hikes for school groups, and performs snake demos for visitors. She has been a TATE fan ever since Midnight hit the music scene hard in 09′, and has been loving every minute of TATE fandemonium.

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