It was September 17, 2012—the day of my first Airborne show. I was waiting in the crowd of the packed Troubadour in West Hollywood when suddenly the band began to take the stage. After months of anticipation it was finally happening. I would finally be able to hear those songs I’d listened to repeatedly, headphones pressed against my ears on sleepless nights. It all felt so surreal, and I must admit that I had doubted whether or not the experience would live up to this larger than life idea I had been steadily cultivating in my mind every day since I bought those tickets. But the second I heard the first few notes of “Wishing Well,” I knew that they were not going to disappoint.
That was the night they debuted seven out of the ten songs from their third record, Such Hot Blood, so I find it only fitting that I was able to see them play at the very same venue less than two months before Dope Machines is released.
The evening began with a VIP dinner for twenty lucky fans at a nearby hotel. Food was eaten, conversations were had, and—perhaps most importantly—pictures were taken (as I am constantly reminded by some of my friends’ Facebook posts). Sadly, as a twenty-year-old broke college student, I was not able to participate, but I heard it was a wonderful experience. While they were eating Italian cuisine, I was waiting in line across from the venue having an interesting conversation with an already fairly drunk fan boy.
Just as the 2012 Troubadour show’s proceeds went to the Wounded Warrior Project (which you can learn more about here), tonight’s went to an incredible organization called Songs for Kids, who “integrate musicians into the lives of kids facing illness and hardship—working with kids both in and out of children’s hospitals through live interactive concerts, hospital bedside performances, and the Songs for Kids Records songwriting and recording program.” You can find out more about this amazing cause here.
Fakers, a new band comprised of members of The Henry Clay People and Piebald, opened in what turned out to only be their first or second show ever. However, their onstage chemistry made it seem like they had been playing together much longer.
Following an incredibly sway-worthy playlist of songs that I can’t remember for the life of me, The Airborne Toxic Event took the stage. They kicked off the night with “Numb,” fading perfectly into “Wishing Well” (which brought my nostalgia into high gear). A few songs in, they premiered “One Time Thing,” an undeniably sexy new song from Dope Machines (which, as we probably all know, comes out February 24th). The first time I heard it, there seemed to be only subtle hints of the band I know and love, and I started to question what direction they were going in, but after listening to it a few more times, I wondered why I even second guessed them in the first place.
Whenever I think that there is no way they can put on a better show, they do; they always top themselves. I excitedly await their next L.A. show, where they will likely once again shatter my already high expectations.
P.S. I apologize if this is a little fever-dreamy. I’ve been really sick the past few days.