Wednesday, January 27, 2010

the Airborne Toxic Event, January 27 at the Troubadour

Ending my string of my obsessively attending Airborne Toxic Event shows over 2009 (and into 2010), seeing them five times in less than nine months. I might even have skipped this show, especially since I didn't think they could top the show at Disney Hall, except that they were playing the Troubadour, which would be the smallest place I'd see them, as well as the fact that the Troubadour is a good, intimate venue. I got a ticket as soon as I heard about it and apparently it sold out shortly after that. It was part of a benefit for L.A.'s Friendly House, which obviously was not really my concern, but if the money I paid for the ticket could help someone out then I'm happy to do it. $60 was a bit much to pay for just one show in a small club but I knew my time with them on this tour might come to an end soon and I knew it would be a great venue to see them in. Aly also got a ticket. We got dinner at the Indian place a block away then settled into the back of the Troubadour, the closest we could get since the place was more packed than I'd ever seen it. The band started strong with most of their familiar songs, including "Girls in their Summer Clothes", playing them as flawlessly as they ever have, then took break to talk for a while (apparently Mikel told his brother, a recovering addict, that his band would do the show if his brother stayed sober for a year, and that happened, so they put together to the show to help the organization that helped his brother stay clean), then went into a bunch of new stuff, more than I've seen a band do in a long time, since music and performance nowadays can be so easily recorded and posted online, thereby making new material no longer as special as it was. But they didn't care about anyone hearing the new stuff through unscrupulous means, and they played like it. The music sounds familiar, which shouldn't be a surprise, and when it's released it will sound like the Airborne Toxic Event. One of the new tracks was called "Tokyo Radio" and it seemed like most of the new material was about being on tour in a band. The band also seemed a bit more revived than they've been for a while, maybe since they had been done with their tour for a while and over the holidays, and this was an extra, special show at the end of a very long cycle (not the only last one but I won't split hairs about it).