Posts Tagged ‘pursuit of happiness’

Mikel Jollett's head may have felt like moonshine and cheap-ass wine, but that didn't stop he and The Airborne Toxic Event from killing it in NYC. Photo by Julie.

Mikel Jollett’s head may have felt like moonshine and cheap-ass wine, but that didn’t stop he and The Airborne Toxic Event from killing it in NYC. Photo by Julie.

By Julie

It isn’t always easy, this passage of time. The biggest mistake you can make is to try to hold on to the past, sadly nostalgic for what once was, hoping to recapture the early days of your youthful innocence, simpler times, past relationships, the early days of your favorite band. In clinging to what has faded into distant memory, you’re likely to miss exciting new possibilities and the awe-inspiring mystery of a future not yet unfurled. Though having said all that, there is still great comfort to be had in the company of old friends and the renewing of emotional bonds.

The Airborne Toxic Event has a long history of brilliant East Coast shows, and particularly when it comes to New York City. From their early days playing the CMJ music marathon and tiny clubs like Pianos and the Mercury Lounge, up to big important gigs like Terminal 5 and Central Park’s SummerStage, New York has always been a big deal for this band. Their audience has grown up with them, so it was a nice surprise to see them play the more intimate Irving Plaza. It’s gotten to the point where we all recognize each other, whether it’s from Webster Hall shows, Terminal 5, the Origins tour, the Bowery Ballroom or wherever. Heartwarming greetings from those you haven’t seen for a while, since the last show. It’s like a homecoming. And it means everything.

I’ll be honest. I’ve felt some uncertainty this year at what the future holds for Airborne. Those two wonderful new albums didn’t get anywhere near the attention I felt they deserved. There were fewer shows than expected after their release, with no additional shows (except for a single holiday gig) on the horizon. I suspect now that the original plan was to release Dope Machines late last year, which would have perfectly coincided with last autumn’s big tour. Rather than continuing an exhausting string of never-ending tours, the band is understandably weary so they’re planning shows more strategically now.

However, this dearth of live appearances made this handful of East Coast performances even more special, like rare glittering jewels. Maybe that isn’t such a terrible thing after all.

Anna Bulbrook of The Airborne Toxic Event: World's classiest bad-ass rock star. Photo by Julie.

Anna Bulbrook of The Airborne Toxic Event: World’s classiest bad-ass rock star. Photo by Julie.

It feels as though there are changes on the horizon, but Airborne’s fan community is as strong and vital as ever. Perhaps even more so. There have been times over the years when I’ve felt disconnected from what I saw developing around them. Those legions of “radio fans” who came to hear the hits and knew nothing more would be restless and chatting to their friends or playing with their phones during quieter songs. I’m not saying that doesn’t still happen, but there’s less of that now. We seem to be getting back to their loyal following, not huge but completely committed. And I can certainly live with that.

Random NYC thoughts – No Popepocalypse problems whatsoever, oddly enough (my travel woes would be in Boston). Irving Plaza, first time I’d been there; a nice smallish venue with good sound. A special show, with amazing band/audience symbiosis, and wow what a setlist! The band was so, so tight, and Adrian has really come into his own, infusing his mellow vibe into the band, balancing out the edginess. Ever more astonishing drum solos from Daren and ever more sophisticated guitar finesse and stage acrobatics from Steven. Anna has become the band’s rock star; incredible presence and self-confidence. Mikel is ever the enigma, full of smiles and angst in equal measure. When he’s really enjoying a show, his joy warms the heart; his beautiful smile fills the entire room and raises everyone in there up with him; everything feeds off his mood. He had incredible energy this evening, especially considering his recent car accident. I am always amazed by him, but never more so than this night.

You know what the problem with modern music is? There's not enough drum solos. (Unless you're at an Airborne Toxic Event gig, in which case Daren Taylor will take care of you.) Photo by Julie.

You know what the problem with modern music is? There’s not enough drum solos. (Unless you’re at an Airborne Toxic Event gig, in which case Daren Taylor has got you covered.) Photo by Julie.

The show began with the one-two Songs of God and Whiskey punch of “Poor Isaac” and “Cocaine and Abel,” which was so powerful and exhilarating that it left me breathless as if I’d had the air knocked out of my lungs. In a good way, of course. You could feel from the immediate surge of energy from the crowd that everyone was anxiously awaiting those Songs of God and Whiskey. Fans tried to keep up with Mikel’s considerable lyrical prowess in order to sing along. I’m so glad they’ve now introduced at least a small taste of that brilliant and obviously well-loved album into their live set. Hopefully these songs will continue to pop up every now and then in future shows.

Following on the heels of those first two were two older high-octane hits, “Gasoline” and “Changing.” Upon reviewing the set list, I can see very clearly something that I’ve always loved about Airborne’s live shows that many bands don’t have a good handle on — pacing. They’ve always carefully crafted their performance to be an intoxicating journey over varied terrain. A few fast and furious, then drop it down for a couple of slower, more emotional ones. In the case of NYC that night, that would be “Change and Change and Change and Change” and “Half of Something Else.” It’s a sign of true pros, to take the audience on an emotional roller coaster ride, alternately rocking out and drawing inward for shared introspection and intimacy. This up and down movement continued throughout the show, ending the main set with the breathtaking and intense triple-play of “Pursuit of Happiness,” “All I Ever Wanted” and “Midnight.” Epic.

“What’s In A Name,” admittedly not one of my favorites on Such Hot Blood, has taken on a new life for me when performed live. This feels like a real West Coast song to me, something quite personal and introspective from Mikel, about his upbringing, and I found it especially poignant when back to back with “California.” That was definitely a nice pairing, and another example of these little vignettes that are created with 2-3 song groupings. “Wishing Well,” another deeply personal moment, was the perfect song to round it out.

“Pursuit of Happiness” is turning out to be one of my favorite Airborne songs, except that it’s not an Airborne song. This angst-driven/sad confessional rap is so perfectly within Mikel’s emotional wheelhouse, it’s easy to forget that he didn’t actually write it. Suffice it to say they’ve really made this amazing song their own, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a recorded version someday.

For the encore, if anyone was at all disappointed by the absence of “Fall of Rome,” that immediately disappeared as soon as the “Heaven Is A Map” introduction to “Innocence” began. This deeply loved song typically doesn’t make it into the set list anymore, so when it does appear, you know it’s a good night — as in a really good night. Indeed, it was a 5-song encore that included another big audience favorite (that I’m guessing Mikel never would have guessed when he wrote it), “Elizabeth.” “Folsom Prison Blues” found its way into Missy, a very happy “side effect” to the looming Shazam show and the need to rehearse some of their lesser played songs. This would also happen the next evening in Boston.

Though they played in Brooklyn earlier this year and at the cavernous Terminal 5 last year, somehow this intimate appearance at the 1025-capacity Irving Plaza felt emotionally like a close sibling to those two mind-blowing gigs at Webster Hall back in 2013. It was definitely one of those evenings. The audience knew it, and Mikel knew it as well. As he said to me later, after meeting and greeting every single person in the 50+ crowd who patiently waited after the show for a moment of his time as the crew packed up their equipment, “that was a special one, wasn’t it?” Ohhhh yes.

Photo Gallery


JulieAlong with writing regularly for This Is Nowhere, Julie publishes, a music blog with the bipolar personality of wannabe philosopher and charlatan music critic, where she is just as likely to review the audience as she is the band. Her first Airborne show was at a lingerie party hosted by WFNX at an Irish-Mexican bar in Boston’s financial district. She does her best to live by the motto “only one who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible.”

Anna Bulbrook gets high as Mikel Jollett looks on during The Airborne Toxic Event's set at Riot Fest Toronto. Photo by Trish Cassling.

Anna Bulbrook gets high as Mikel Jollett looks on during The Airborne Toxic Event’s set at Riot Fest Toronto. Photo by Trish Cassling.

By Glen

We’re smack dab in the middle of the most action-packed week The Airborne Toxic Event has had in months. After playing four sets in three cities in just over 48 hours last weekend and hitting Buffalo Tuesday night, the band finishes off the first portion of the Whiskey Machine Tour with another four set, three city, 48 hour whirlwind: New York City (last night), Anna Bulbrook’s hometown Boston tonight, and Philadelphia tomorrow. That final stop will include a private set for the winners of the band’s Shazam contest, to be held a couple hours before the main event.

A Close Call

The band’s frenzied performance schedule this week is made all the more remarkable by the fact that Mikel Jollett has been doing it hopped up on painkillers after a recent car crash that could’ve been much worse. He shared the scary details in an interview with CBS Philly:

I hydroplaned on the 10 freeway and spun off and totaled the car. I almost died; like, it was crazy. Went down an embankment, got pinned by a boulder. I just spun off the freeway at a high speed. It was insane. My back’s all messed up… nothing major, just some muscle stuff.

As to playing the shows on meds, he says, “It’s been interesting. We played a show the other night and I forgot the lyrics to a song, then we play another show in Toronto at Riot Fest and I forgot the lyrics to another song, and I put it in the wrong key, because I’m on all these muscle relaxers and pain killers. The show’s been loopy, but fun. I’ve never been that into drugs, more than you’re average wayward rock and roll person in the big city I guess, but man, it’s been a whole nother experience.”

I’m sure I speak for the entire Airborne fan community when I say, thank God it wasn’t worse. Take care of yourself, Mikel, and thanks for keeping the show on the road.

Speaking of God, elsewhere in the interview, Mikel waxes theological as he considers the Pope’s visit to Philly coinciding with the band’s show on Saturday. He also looks back at the reaction to Dope Machines, concluding that he had fretted unnecessarily.

I think I was hand-ringing over nothing. When you make something, you spend so much time on it, you feel like a lot of nervous energy about how it’s going to be received. Early on there were people, like on Facebook that were so mad that we made an electronic record and I wasn’t sure if they were expressing some larger will, and it turns out they weren’t.

A Not So Silent Night

The Airborne Toxic Event has been a regular at holiday shows over the years, and the first announcement in that regard came down recently. The band will return to Denver with Bastille, Cold War Kids and others on Dec. 5, for Channel 93.3’s Not So Silent Night.

Reading Between the Lines

From the department of “I May Be Reading Too Much into This” comes this tweet:

It’s just four little letters that could ultimately mean nothing, but that “hmmm” has me quite optimistic that we will get some kind of official recording of Airborne’s very popular cover of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” before too long. May it be so!

Road Recaps

Assorted coverage of The Airborne Toxic Event’s most recent road escapades:

Anti Music tagged the band as one of the MVP’s of Riot Fest Chicago.

Music Felon published a photo gallery from TATE’s electrifying gig in Austin.

AXS Entertainment captured the fun at Riot Fest Toronto. So did Riff You. And so did The Reviews Are In.

Buffalo News published a huge collection from Airborne’s visit earlier this week; if you were there, you’ll probably find yourself in their extensive fan shots.

Mulling Over Midnight

As part of their ongoing “What’s THAT Supposed to Mean?” series, Popdose recently covered The Airborne Toxic Event’s best loved song, “Sometime Around Midnight.” The writer, Beau Dure, muses about why he feels so connected to a song that describes experiences he’s never personally had – a sensation that I am very familiar with myself.

The question I’ve wrestled with is this, and the reason I’m writing about this song in this series: What do I get from this song? Why does it resonate with me?

I’ve never been in this situation. I was never a serious drinker — never “lost in the haze of the wine” or stumbling down a street oblivious to everyone’s stares. I haven’t had a breakup I regretted since I started college.

The closest I can come to that feeling would be in college, watching situations in which I didn’t even have a chance to be the ex. I haven’t checked with Duke, but I may still hold the university record for unrequited crushes. I can’t think of a specific situation in which I saw someone I admired from afar walking off with another guy, but if you add up all the times I realized someone was out of my league or just walking in different circles (like frat parties, which I never had the slightest interest in attending), I could probably come up with a pretty good amalgam.

Indie History

Noisy published a compelling retrospective off failed Los Angeles radio station Indie 103.1. With the station’s heyday having coincided with the rise of The Airborne Toxic Event, the band gets an extended spotlight in the story. Mikel recalls what the station’s support meant to his upstart operation:

We had been a band for about a year and I think Mark Sovel had us in to the studio to do a live performance of a song. It was really cool because we were just a local band playing Spaceland and El Cid and places like that.

I had this little clock radio and it was on Indie 103.1 and I heard our song, “Does This Mean You’re Moving On?” and was like, “Woah, this is so cool!” It was like that moment in La Bamba.

It’s one thing when you hear something through your speakers or monitor speaks in the studio or something, but hearing something that you’re a part of on your tiny, little fuckin’ digital talk radio—that’s a trip. I think it also followed the song “Push” by the Cure, which is one of my all-time favorite songs. I kind of welled up a bit.

In January of 2008, we played this [Indie-hosted] residency at Spaceland and in the fourth week of the residency—again, we’re still a local band, no manager, no record deal, nothing—and Indie 103.1 added us to their rotation, started playing our song all the time, which was a huge deal for us…We never figured that the radio would play us and then they did. It was this really weird moment because it was embarrassing how exciting it was.

KROQ [added The Airborne Toxic Event] that same week and it was crazy. The audience totally changed. It was bigger. I think 1200 people showed up to that show for our residency and Spaceland has a capacity of 300. There’s a little documentary online about that night. That was kind of weird. The week before, there was 200.

The other thing that changed was the audience. Before that, it was our friends and people in the scene and music fans from the Eastside or wherever. Then suddenly people drove from the Valley or people drove from the South Bay or the Westside to come see a show at Spaceland. It was just a much bigger crowd and it was a different kind of crowd.

Radio is very competitive and there are all kinds of charts that show you the research of how this song is performing…There is detailed research and it’s all tied to ad revenue, right? But, Indie 103.1 didn’t seem to care. They just liked playing what they liked and they had some cool people working there—Sovel being one of them—that just had good taste and liked good music and just sort of believed that if they did that then the rest of it would fall into place.

Toxic Gold

Yep… I’m a little obsessed with “Pursuit of Happiness” at the moment. Here’s the performance from Riot Fest Toronto, courtesy of danielscissorhands.

GlenGlen 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.

Mikel Jollett of the Airborne Toxic Event, as captured by Sofa King Cool Online at Buffalo's Kerfuffle.

Mikel Jollett of the Airborne Toxic Event, as captured by Sofa King Cool Online at Buffalo’s Kerfuffle.

By Glen

With summer vacation wreaking havoc on our regular publishing schedule, it’s time to catch up on all the latest goings on from The Airborne Toxic Event in a rare Sunday edition of Toxicity.

Our Condolences to the Jollett Family

We start off on a sad note, unfortunately. Amanda Keeler wrote a preview of Airborne’s fall tour for, in which she alluded to a recent heartbreak in Mikel Jollett’s family:

Sad news came in early May though when frontman Mikel Jollett’s father passed away. His father Jim was a long time supporter of the band, and was often seen at their hometown shows singing along to the music while wearing his Airborne attire.

We had heard this news when it happened shortly before the band’s special Songs of God and Whiskey show in Orange County, but with nothing having been announced publicly, we wanted to respect Mikel and his family’s privacy. Now that it’s on record, though, we want to express our deepest condolences to the whole family on their loss.

On a related note, we understand that the hat Mikel sported at that SOGAW show (and at each performance since) belonged to his dad – a very nice tribute to a man who is sorely missed.

Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event gets hauled away in cuffs at the Kerfuffle in Buffalo. It was all in good fun - this time.

Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event gets hauled away in cuffs at the Kerfuffle in Buffalo. It was all in good fun – this time.

The Kerfuffle at the Kerfuffle

Meanwhile on the lighter side, Mikel caused quite the stir after the band’s recent performance at the Kerfuffle in Buffalo when he posted a photo that implied he had gotten himself into some trouble with the local authorities. After leaving us all hanging for a night, he came clean and admitted that it was just a prank they’d pulled on TATE tour manager Bill Handlin. Given Mikel’s somewhat checkered past when it comes to such incidents (which we’ll be covering in our next Toxic History post a couple days from now), it no doubt had the intended effect of causing poor Bill a heart attack.

Concerts Captured

The Airborne Toxic Event played a trifecta of shows in late July, and while they didn’t yield a ton of press, they did generate a number of photo galleries that are worth checking out. Radio 104.5 posted the very fun meet and greet photos from the Golden Nugget; the Kerfuffle was amply covered by Buffalo News, Alternative Buffalo and Sofa King Cool Online; while Baltimore’s Power Plant Live posted a selection of pics on their Facebook page.

Toxic Radio

We don’t know about you, but we don’t think The Airborne Toxic Event gets nearly enough love from radio these days. And with radio success still playing a vital role in any band’s ability to tour extensively, we want to encourage all Airborne fans to regularly hit up their local stations and encourage them to play the best band that far too few have heard about. “One Time Thing” has recently been added to the playlists of several stations, so that’s the song to focus on these days.

To make it easy for fans to figure out who to contact, we are compiling a list of TATE-friendly radio stations from around the world. If there’s a station in your area that has been known to play The Airborne Toxic Event – or who should be playing the band – please send us the name of the station, the station’s Twitter handle, and the city in which it is based. We’ll add it to our list, which will be published shortly.

Late Night Bear Sighting

TATE bassist Adrian Rodriguez (aka Adrian Bear) is known to frequently sit in with other bands; recently, he’s been doing so with friend Twin Shadow. That’s how he landed on the Late Late Show with James Corden, joining Twin Shadow and his crew for a performance of “To The Top.” Adrian had a pretty limited musical role, but the camera loved him as he busted out some seriously enthusiastic moves.

What Steven’s Listening To

We don’t get to hear from Steven Chen as often as we would like, so it was a treat when he popped up on YouTube this week, sharing his current favorite songs with 1iota studios. His eclectic playlist includes “Born Slippy” by Albert Hammond Jr., “Special Affair” by The Internet, “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” by Father John Misty, Action Bronson’s “Easy Rider,” and his top pick, “The Less I Know the Better” by Tame Impala. Watch the video for his insightful commentary on each track and artist.

Toxic Gold

As The Airborne Toxic Event completed their soundcheck at the Golden Nugget, excited fans listening through the walls began buzzing about what sounded like a new song being practiced. As it turned out, it wasn’t new Airborne material after all, but the next best thing: a rocking cover of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness.” The tune was played at all three TATE shows last month, including this rendition from Kerfuffle, captured by Rick. One can only hope that the band will dip into their old bag of tricks and record it for YouTube soon.

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.

Anna Bulbrook, Daren Taylor and Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event at Atlantic City's Golden Nugget, July 24, 2015. Photo by Julie.

Anna Bulbrook, Daren Taylor and Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event at Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget, July 24, 2015. Photo by Julie.

By Julie

The Jersey Shore. Miles and miles of homogeneous towns, service areas and periodic tolls down the seemingly endless stretch of the Garden State Parkway from the Tappan Zee Bridge. Just as you think you’ve entered into a Twilight Zone timeless loop of nondescript suburbs, concrete overpasses and highway signs set to a Bruce Springsteen soundtrack on infinite repeat, the landscape suddenly opens up into flat expanses with small bodies of water. And then the biggest shock of all — the distant skyline of a space-age metropolis, rising up like a B-grade sci-fi movie set. The vision is of extravagant modern skyscrapers on a precarious strip of beach, plunked down in the midst of a derelict shanty town like polished gemstones in a junkyard. Atlantic City.

Though The Airborne Toxic Event has performed before in casinos and at theme parks, this seems an unlikely venue for a sophisticated rock ‘n’ roll band.

Bleary-eyed from the long drive, I spent some time having lunch on Golden Nugget’s pool deck, people watching. Overweight middle-aged women with tiny bikinis and crudely inked tattoos mingled with older men flaunting flimsy swim trunks and beer guts. Hotel guests sprawled on chaise lounges and actual full-sized beds, staggering back and forth from bar to bed to pool that overlooked an expansive marina filled with ostentatious yachts. Under no circumstance whatsoever could this scene ever be mistaken for the beautiful people paradise of Las Vegas or Lake Tahoe. Instead, it is a stunning portrait of opulence and decay, a tarnished Shangri-La.

For this intimate acoustic performance inside the 200-capacity Live Bar, just off the casino’s lobby, Philly’s indie rock station Radio 104.5 staged a cryptic series of contests. Though likely well-intentioned, it became a drawn-out exercise in frustration for desperate fans trying to win the coveted “Golden Tickets.” First there was a mind-numbing “pick a letter” fiasco that bordered on Chinese water torture. My suspicion is that 20 or 30 hardcore Airborne aficionados struggled to submit 100+ entries each. After that, there were various twitter contests with little advance notice and an incomprehensible Tuesday mid-day “ticket raid” at the casino itself, which I heard three people turned up for. It was a real head-scratcher, marketing a casino hotel where room prices start at $800 a night to Radio 104.5’s demographic of 20-something college students. However, when all this bizarre dust finally settled, a ridiculously stoked audience of about 150 that included many East Coast Airborne devotees sizzled with excitement in the cozy casino lounge and enjoyed a marvelously loose and informal Airborne show, not quite believing their good fortune.

An hour or two before the Radio 104.5 folks began checking people in and handing out the rest of the prize package, a $50 casino credit, fans who arrived early were treated to a soundcheck that was at least as long as the actual show. This tantalizing pre-show included “Poor Isaac,” which sadly wasn’t performed in the evening’s set, though it was done the next night in Buffalo.

The members of The Airborne Toxic Event show their appreciation for drummer Daren Taylor. Photo by Julie.

The members of The Airborne Toxic Event show their appreciation for drummer Daren Taylor. Photo by Julie.

The show was incredibly laid back, fun and delightful. The sound was crisp and clear, and though Mikel and Steven were playing their acoustic guitars, with Anna on her electric violin, Adrian playing his electric bass and Daren on his full kit, it was one seriously rocking acoustic set. The crowd was “half and half”—75 or so of the enthralled faithful who chanted along to each song, set on fire by an energetic, playful and happy band, and the other 75 mildly curious and aloof, some sitting at tables at the side of the room. Mikel made a few jokes about this during their blistering 9-song set (two songs more than Saratoga Springs, presumably to compensate for the additional two hours it took me to get to this godforsaken outpost). Paraphrasing here, but “Lady—it’s a rock show, in case you were wondering” (Mikel, to one of the less engaged audience members at the back of the room).

And a rock show it most certainly was, jumping head-first into a pounding rendition of “Hell and Back.” This mini-concert drew from all five albums, portending very good things for the fall Whiskey Machine Tour. From the debut, there was “Midnight” of course, and “Missy.” From All At Once, we got “All I Ever Wanted” and “Changing.” An acoustic premiere of “What’s In A Name” from the oft-forgotten Such Hot Blood sounded amazing and was very well received. “One Time Thing” joined “Hell and Back” to represent Dope Machines, while the angst-filled “Change and Change and Change and Change” paid loving tribute to the magnificent Songs of God and Whiskey.

The songs were powerfully and joyously performed by the band, who were obviously having a good time, feeding off the excitement and energy of the crowd. Lots of little smiles and joking around warmed the heart in this easygoing atmosphere. There was even time for an unexpected surprise. Since I was not previously familiar with Kid Cudi nor his wonderful song “Pursuit of Happiness,” I was breathless with what I thought was a mind-blowing new Airborne song. Instead, it was a mind-blowing new Airborne cover. Judging from the audience reaction and how perfectly it fits Airborne’s sound and Mikel’s sensibilities, I predict this may well become a staple of future shows.

“Tell me what you know about dreams, dreams
tell me what you know about night terrors, nothin’
you don’t really care about the trials of tomorrow
rather lay awake in a bed full of sorrow.”

“I’m on the pursuit of happiness and I know
everything that shine ain’t always gonna be gold
Hey, I’ll be fine once I get it
Yeah, I’ll be good.”

– Pursuit of Happiness, Kid Cudi

Appearances are a funny thing. The reality, once you reach that glowing mirage? Quite different. There you go, forever running from the past and chasing that salvation that seems to lie just beyond the horizon, never quite realizing that what you seek is right in front of you. Whether it’s meaning, recognition or purpose, there remains the constant striving for something more.

Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event comes face to face with a Dope Machines doppelganger. Photo by Julie.

Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event comes face to face with a Dope Machines doppelganger. Photo by Julie.

A wacky meet and greet with the entire audience followed, the line snaking around the small lounge. Formally posed photos and polite hellos devolved into nutty antics and amusingly staged shoots with impromptu props like a floral ottoman and a modern art figurine that bore a remarkable resemblance to Paul Himmel’s “Nude on White” that graced the cover of Dope Machines. Mikel was so taken with the statue that at one point he tried to make off with it through the curtained entrance.

Once everyone had a chance to meet and greet, the band hung out at the bar for a while with a small group of stragglers, partaking in a round of gifted shots. It was just one of those perfect evenings.

I would like to gratefully thank The Golden Nugget, Radio 104.5 and, of course, Airborne!

Photo Gallery


JulieAlong with writing regularly for This Is Nowhere, Julie publishes, a music blog with the bipolar personality of wannabe philosopher and charlatan music critic, where she is just as likely to review the audience as she is the band. Her first Airborne show was at a lingerie party hosted by WFNX at an Irish-Mexican bar in Boston’s financial district. She does her best to live by the motto “only one who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible.”