Ed. Note: This post is a reprint from Julie’s blog, Musings from Boston. This Is Nowhere is publishing it honor of the one-year anniversary of The Airborne Toxic Event’s epic two-night stand at Webster Hall – a pair of shows that Julie declares the best she’s ever seen (and she’s seen a lot!).
Show#1: Jan. 15, 2013 (setlist)
It was an incredibly powerful evening with old friends. I’m at a complete loss for words, so don’t expect this to be eloquent, but after a performance like that, I had to stay up and post something.
It’s been over a year since The Airborne Toxic Event played in New York, and from the emotional outpouring of all their fans, it was obvious they had been deeply missed. We witnessed a dramatic unveiling of four new songs from the upcoming album, Such Hot Blood, and there were massive chanting sing-a-longs of beloved favorites (that would be everything else). They opened with “All At Once,” then moved in to “Wishing Well,” and from there, it was a breathtaking, dizzying smorgasbord of the following, in no particular order (apologies if I missed anything): new songs – “The Secret,” “Timeless,” “The Storm,” “What’s In A Name.” And also… “Half Of Something Else,” “The Graveyard Near The House,” “The Book Of Love,” “All I Ever Wanted” (with the original lyrics), “Gasoline,” “Sometime Around Midnight,” “Does This Mean You’re Moving On?,” “Happiness Is Overrated,” “Welcome To Your Wedding Day,” “Numb,” “Changing,” and “Missy” bedecked in dazzling new clothes, with snippets of Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire,” Tom Petty’s “American Girl,” and a long cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The USA.” Mind-blowing.
I will speak about the new songs when the album comes out and I do a proper review. Too much to process and absorb, and that takes some time. For now, let’s just say absolutely stunning, and there’s no doubt it’s going to be a HUGE year for them.
Here’s “Timeless,” filmed by my friend Charles (a.k.a. citybug). See his other videos on YouTube. Thanks for handling the filming duties, buddy!
Show#2: Jan. 16, 2013 (setlist)
If night #1 was the formal unveiling of the new songs (with Island Records folks in attendance), the first show of 2013 and official “kick off” for the new album and tour, then night #2 of The Airborne Toxic Event in New York City was a goofy get-together with your buddies hanging out in an exceptionally large living room.
After Mikel made the mistake of announcing that this was “the good night,” the technical snafus began and kept coming, making for some off-the-cuff hilarity and loads of great fun. I’ll never stop loving the quirky personality of this band and the sheer joy they have in performing, to the point that even when something screwy happens that might throw someone else off their game, they seem to delight in those unexpected moments. Mikel, ever the showman, especially thrives in those situations. As he says, that’s what rock ‘n’ roll is all about; never really knowing what’s going to happen, where everything can completely go off the rails at any moment. That’s what makes the evening exciting and special. And it most certainly was.
The set list for tonight (more or less) was: “All I Ever Wanted,” “The Secret,” “Numb,” “Changing,” “What’s In A Name,” “Gasoline,” “Does This Mean You’re Moving On?,” “Papillon,” “Wishing Well,” “Timeless,” “This Losing,” “Welcome To Your Wedding Day,” “Sometime Around Midnight,” “Innocence,” “All At Once” // “Happiness Is Overrated,” “Missy.”
After a two-night high like that, I’m crashing pretty hard now, but there’s already been the promise of more tour dates being announced next week. Bring it on!
Writer of all things from the sublime to the ridiculous, Julie publishes musingsfromboston.com, 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. Since 2008, she has inexplicably favored musicians from the Silver Lake and Echo Park region of Los Angeles, for which she fully blames The Airborne Toxic Event. She does her best to live by the motto “only one who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible.”