All I Ever Needed

The Airborne Toxic Event: All I Ever Needed?

Mikel Jollett, photo by Anneke PeetersBy Jamie

In 2015, I saw The Airborne Toxic Event six times – five of those shows in just a four-month time span. To come up with that number, I had to take count the “TATE” albums on my Facebook profile. They all kind of lump together into some kind of hazy dream… a blur of planes and trains, venues and faces… and I wasn’t even the one on tour.

Thinking back on it can be a bit exhausting, which is why when I saw my last TATE show (also TATE’s last live show to date), I should not have been surprised by the performance. I should not have been surprised by the weariness on the band’s faces as we met with them before the show. Yet somehow, I was.

I am not proud to say I counted myself as one of the many skeptics who heard the word “hiatus” and instead thought “breakup.” I worried I had just seen the last of my favorite band and wondered how I would adjust to a life with no new songs to devour and no shows on the horizon.

During the first couple of months of the break, I would skip their songs on my iPod as a kind of coping strategy. The band’s potential demise had me so worried, I couldn’t even enjoy them. After some time, I couldn’t help but to laugh at myself and my ridiculousness. “Life is better with a TATE ticket in hand,” I would say, and while I still think that holds some truth, this break has also taught me that even without one, things can still be okay.

In the 15 months since I stood in that arena in Denver, I have faced one of the most difficult years of my personal life. Of course, it wasn’t easy but I am still standing, even if just barely, and I did just fine without TATE. I never needed this band; not really. They helped me, for sure, but only to discover my untapped potential.

I’m not sure I realized that in the midst of it all. All the lessons that the songs and experiences had taught me were still there, but I hadn’t really had time to analyze them and appreciate them until the dust had settled and the noise softened and I was left with no distractions. Confronting myself is what I did in this hiatus. As it turned out, I needed a break too.

In March, I fly to LA with no expectations. I will celebrate life and everything awful and wonderful in it, and I will do it with some of the best people I have ever met. I will support this band that I love so much and I will not be left wanting. I have everything I need.

Jamie: A Strange, Strange GirlJamie can be found most days attempting to maintain her sanity and raise her 4 children to be decent human beings. She spends her free time, you guessed it, obsessively listening to music and going to concerts.

About thisisnowhere 413 Articles
Glen is the founder and editor of This Is Nowhere and author of Toxic History: The Story of The Airborne Toxic Event. 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.