First of all, I will say I love music. Music is my passion. I love music so much that it’s a major part of who I am. Because of this, I’ve had several favorite bands over the years, ranging from U2 and Thirty Seconds to Mars, to REM and Gin Blossoms, to Augustana and Erasure. All of these bands have helped me through different parts of my life, and I will say that I still love all of those bands, a LOT. However, looking back, there was never a band that I loved 100% of their music. There was always just a little something missing.
When I found The Airborne Toxic Event though, that all changed. I feel like their songs were written for me to help to embrace all of the things I’ve experienced in life… all of the ups and the downs… all of the heartbreak, the confusion, the pain and suffering, the hopelessness, the embarrassment over stupid things I’ve done, the regrets… all of it. There is a song for everything in my life written by Mikel Jollett and his band. And because of this I am certain that TATE has taken over the front spot in my heart for good.
I’ve loved TATE from the first moment I heard “Sometime Around Midnight” back in 2008. I was immediately entranced by them and wanted to hear more. It was initially Anna’s violin that drew me in, as I had never heard, at that time, another alternative band with a violinist. Their debut album was played on repeat endlessly in my car, and unlike other bands, my love for them grew rather than diminished.
Then, like most new bands, I forgot about them until they released All At Once a few years later. As soon as I bought the album, it again became a fixture in my car, and was played over and over. It wasn’t until the release of Such Hot Blood, however, that I fell totally and hopelessly in love with this band. By then, I realized they were never going to let me down, no matter what direction they took in the future. Mikel’s voice, Anna’s violin, Steven’s guitar and the rest of the band were just the perfect recipe for what my ears crave.
Since the beginning, I have seen them perform every chance I could get, but never outside of San Diego. I saw them twice when they played following the Del Mar Horse Races, twice at House of Blues, and twice at the annual Wrex the Halls holiday show put on by local 91X radio station. The second time they performed at Wrex the Halls, I somehow managed to sneak in to meet them, get an autographed photo, a photo with the band, and a hug from Mikel. I barely fit in more than the lame “you guys are my favorite band!” since it was so rushed, but it was still an incredible experience I would not soon forget. I ended up creating a canvas out of that perfect photo, which was later signed by the band this year.
With not much going on with them for a couple of years, I was ecstatic when they announced last year that they would be releasing a new album in early 2015. Being relatively new to Twitter at the time, I immediately started researching all of their Twitter pages and happily found “This Is Nowhere,” a site that has become my consistent source of TATE news. Then in December, when I heard they would be playing a small show at The Troubadour in Los Angeles, I was dead set on attending, and on being one of the 20 VIP ticket holders who would get to meet the band over dinner. This was the chance I never knew I would get with any band, let alone my favorite band!
I must say it was one of the best nights of my life. They are all the kindest and most down-to-earth people I have ever met. I could tell immediately they didn’t play music for the money, but rather for the love of playing. They may not be that active in the social media scene, but it was obvious how much they appreciate their fans. They came across to me as five unique individuals who happen to be best friends, and love to jam together, and once in a while share their amazing music with other people who love it just as much. They obviously have fun together. And that is what makes their chemistry on stage so electric every time.
Soon after the show at the Troubadour, they released their Dope Machines album, and on the same day, released the amazing Songs of God and Whiskey. Since then, it has been a whirlwind of falling in love with new lyrics, meeting other TATE fans, and two unbelievable concerts in San Francisco (yes I finally ventured to another city to see them!) and San Diego.
So… with that… I must point out that I am by no means a writer. But for the first time ever, I felt the need to share my experience on paper. Who knows, no one may read it, but at the very least, I had the opportunity to relive my journey. I hope to meet some of you in the future, either here, on Twitter, Facebook or in person at a future show. Till then, I’ll leave you with some of my favorite Airborne lyrics…
And then you walk right through the doorway.
You tell me you’re here to stay
“The worst is gone. My God, how long, have you been here this way?”
– lyrics from “The Storm,” written by Mikel Jollett.
Lara has lived in San Diego all her life and has always loved music more than you can imagine. She works as an accountant for an international company, and in her free time enjoys many concerts, trying out great restaurants, traveling whenever she can, spending time with friends watching movies (LOTR is her fave!) and keeping up on their many TV shows including Game of Thrones, Arrow and many more. She’s also a long-time Padres Season-Ticket Holder.