Review: The Airborne Toxic Event El Rey Residency, Show 2

For the second night of The El Rey residency, The Airborne Toxic Event performed in front of a classic All At Once backdrop. Photo by Viv Holenbeck.
For the second night of The El Rey residency, The Airborne Toxic Event performed in front of a classic All At Once backdrop. Photo by Viv Holenbeck.

By Daniel

The atmosphere was different from the first show. Maybe it was less people lined up early in the day, maybe it was it being the second of four gigs, but the vibe was different.

The soundcheck was long and tantalizing, and the audience load-in was slightly more organized (but not by much). TATE manager Pete Galli’s pre-show announcement peppered in the fact that even with the new stuff, there would be some changes to the songs that were played last week.

The dramatic Interstellar music began, and we were in. “Hollywood Park” kicked things off with a bang, but “Brother How Was the War?” seemed different. I studied music in middle/high school, but by no means would I say that I am classically trained, nor am I an expert. But from my fallible memory, it sounded like the song was played in a different key (methinks higher) and the piano verses went from a minor to a major key (changing the vibe to not quite as melancholy). Again, this is purely speculative, but that was my initial impression.

Mikel set the mood for “Carry Me” by describing a sparse room with a spoon and needle, and it all clicked for that song.

That led into a brand new tune. There wasn’t really an introduction for “Are There Any Secrets Left?”, so all of us did a double take, wondering if we’d heard this one last week or not. We hadn’t.

Understanding the importance of mood, Mikel stopped shortly after starting “1963.” The energy in the room had been scattered, and he was able to bring the audience back to the show by telling them about his father, and how he related to the song and its story, and everything honed in once more.

It was after this that he announced his recent marriage and even more recent fatherhood, and it made “The Common Touch” even more powerful. This will easily be a highlight of the new record when it gets produced. I only hope it doesn’t lose its intimacy, but judging by the overall direction of the new music, I’ve got a good feeling.

The show was already good, but then it lit up like a bottle rocket with the lineup change of “Papillon.” It was a personal first hearing that one live, and both the band members and audience were head-banging with a fury that shot the energy of the show through the roof. It didn’t come down for the rest of the night, even through the vulnerable strains of “Graveyard.” “Missy” sent us home elated, energized, and with that post-show glow that a good TATE show can deliver.

Overall, the band was tighter and more at ease with the new material, and it made the older songs shine even brighter. All bets are off as far as what classic songs will accompany the new (and even the newer songs it seems)! It promises to be a memorable remainder of the residency!

Setlist

About thisisnowhere 412 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.

5 Comments on Review: The Airborne Toxic Event El Rey Residency, Show 2

  1. Wait! Am I missing something? Did Mikel get married AND have a baby? (“It was after this that he announced his recent marriage and even more recent fatherhood”)

Comments are closed.