Last Night: Airborne Toxic Event, Fratellis @ HOB, Anaheim

Last Night: The Airborne Toxic Event and The Fratellis at the House of Blues Anaheim September 15, 2008.

Better Than: crying over all the money you lost in the stock market.

Download: The Airborne Toxic Event live at KCRW

The three pronged attack of Electric Touch, The Airborne Toxic Event and The Fratellis dropped by the House of Blues Anaheim for an intoxicating night of music.

A musical hybrid of the pop sensibilities of Weezer mixed with the dance inciting vibe of the Killers appeared in the form of the band, Electric Touch. "Breakdown" from their debut self-titled album incited a small collective of girls to freely dance to the slinky bass lines. An a relatively new band, they mixed in a bouncy piano cover of the Beatles "Come Together" to get the crowd involved. A generous amount of applause was received by the band as they sufficiently warmed up the crowd.

The Airborne Toxic Event first popped up on my radar almost a year ago when they were in the midst of a Monday night residency at the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa. After touring non-stop, things started to progress for The Airborne Toxic Event. A spot on Conan O'Brien, a beyond packed in-store at Fingerprints Records in Long Beach, major airplay on KROQ and Indie 103.1, and a sparkling self-titled debut album. A surge of fans bustled up to the front of the stage as The Airborne Toxic Event was due to take the stage.

"Gasoline" ignited the audience as Mikel Jollett (Vocals/Guitars) energetically strummed his Fender Telecaster with his trucker hat pulled tightly close to his eyes. Anna Bulbrook (Violin) was sawing away on her violin backed by the propulsive rhythm section of Noah Harmon (Bass) and Daren Taylor (Drums). "Happiness Is Overrated" starts as a fifties love song turned awfully wrong as it morphs into a full-fledged dance tilted rock song. A lighter quickly lit up in the audience as the violin started to waft out the opening notes of "Sometime After Midnight". Steve Chen (Guitars) was fingerpicking out the cascading delayed notes as the song started to build in way that is reminiscent of a classic U2 song. Anna would later switch from violin to tambourine for the shaking good time of "Missy". A sizable amount of the audience headed for the doors at the conclusion of their set.

The Fratellis by the way of Scotland put together a raucous set of rock and roll that could be the soundtrack to a boisterous soccer team. Originally a power trio, The Fratellis had added a touring guitar/piano player to round out their sound. "Here We Stand" is the sophomore album from the Fratellis that translates much better in the live format.

"Look Out Sunshine" teetered on a punk song as Jon bashed out the chords. "Henrietta" harkened back to the 1960's with its groovy phaser soaked guitar solo. A bra was delicately tossed on stage after a blazing version of "Chelsea Dagger". Jon's Scottish accent is so thick that I couldn't understand one word in between the songs. But I think he said "Thank You". "Baby Fratelli" ended the evening with the crowd singing along "It's alright!". I would have to agree.

Critic's Notebook:

Personal Bias: I have read Don Delillo's Novel "White Noise" which is where The Airborne Toxic Event got the idea for their name.

Random Detail: Tre Cool from Green Day was in the balcony section rocking out to the Fratellis.

By The Way: I am willing to bet that The Airborne Toxic Event will play KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas show in December.


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