Angels and Airwaves
House of Blues Anaheim
Jan 22, 2012
After their two-year hiatus, Angels and Airwaves played to a sold-out hometown crowd on their world tour, Love. Purple lights enveloped the House of Blues, as a piano solo initiated AVA's entrance. White strobe lights blasted on the drummer, Ilan Rubin, as the rest of the band entered the stage. The screaming, standing room-only crowd had their cameras ready as Tom DeLong had his back to them. AVA started their set with "Saturday Love," the lead track off of Love Pt. 2. It was a picture-perfect scene that gave you a sense that AVA isn't going anywhere.
The crowd danced and clapped to the beat as the band played new songs from Love Pt. 2: "Surrender," "Dry Your Eyes" and "Anxiety". They did not disappoint their loyal fans by cranking out rocking tracks like, "Valkyrie Missile," "Call To Arms" and "Everything's Magic." Tom DeLonge danced as the crowd jumped to the beat of "Adventure" while shouting out the lyrics.
After playing for nearly 35 minutes, the band paused while Tom acknowledged the crowd. He said it is always special to play at home, and thanked them for all of the love and support over the years. After not performing for two years, he shared that the band was nervous about the crowd's response to their performance. In between songs, he said, they whispered to each other, "Why are they just staring at us, are they enjoying our shit?" (Note: I was staring in awe.)
He then told us the story of how AVA started with Boxcar Racer, then DeLonge performed the Boxcar Racer hit on teenage angst song, "There Is." While listening, part of me was reminded of high school. In the middle of the song, Tom asked the crowd if they remembered falling in love when your parents weren't home and finger-banging. He laughed, and continued to sing as the audience sang back at him.
A piano solo engaged the crowd as AVA took the stage once again, with the ballad, "All That We Are" as an encore performance. Jamming for over an hour, AVA closed their set with the arena anthem, "The War."
Critics Bias It's not Blink-182, but Angels and Airwaves inhabit a different musical universe. I respect and appreciate DeLonge's talent and guts to put Blink oh hold for AVA. Their high energy performance was well worth a $25 ticket.
The Crowd There was a well balanced mix of high school kids, college students, young professionals and parents.
Overheard in the Crowd Five girls shouting, "L-O-V-E, Tom DeLonge is the one for me!"
Random Notebook Dump A girl pushed me as she charged the stage. She danced in front of a barrier to only rush back to the crowded pit within seconds.
Dry Your Eyes
Call To Arms
Tom - There Is
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All That We Are