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You know a show is going to be good when it sells out in a couple weeks. Coming off a 7-year tour hiatus, Angels and Airwaves really came and conquered the stage Friday night at Emo’s in Austin, Texas. They also brought some fantastic acts along with them. Needless to say, this show was heavily anticipated and the line around the venue definitely said something.

Kicking off the show was Los Angeles natives, Charming Liars. This year was their breakout as a band and really hit the scene hard and supporting a band like Angels and Airwaves was a perfect match. Never hearing them before, I was curious what their sound was going to be like, but I was definitely pleasantly surprised. The hip and fluidness they had on stage was a great experience – especially from their vocalist, Kiliyan Maguire. Charming Liars definitely built on every song they played and set the precedent for the show. I think my favorite song was “Like a Drug”  because of the drive it had and sick guitar solos at the end.

Following Charming Liars was a more unique sounding band, The New Regime. This was one that i questioned why they were touring with AVA but once they jumped into the bulk of their set, it made a lot of sense. These guys were wicked good. And the drummer of AVA, Ilan Ruben, just so happens to be the lead singer! Same scenario as before, never heard of them, and that is the beauty of concerts, and I think I have  a new band on my Spotify liked list. The spacey sound they deliver is very in tone and accents AVA’s whole sound. I think of all the songs that they played, “Say What You Will” was definitely my favorite. Very bouncy and just a great song to vibe to. Stellar band for sure!

Finally we get to Angels and Airwaves, and the venue is packed. You could tell the crowd was getting antsy and just needed some AVA music in their lives. Lights go dim and the crowd goes wild – Ilan Rubin walks out and starts the show off with a drum solo. Lights are going wild and then Tom Delong walks out and kicks off the set with “Surrender”. I felt like a 15  year old again listening to them on my mp3 player while I was skateboarding. Song after song, AVA was getting the crowd off their feet. They played hit after hit and one of the songs that was fun to watch was “Everything’s Magic”. Tom was all of the stage and the energy was high!

Tom took a moment to slow things down and surprised the whole crowd with  “I Miss You” by Blink 182, his former band. There wasn’t a single person in the venue who wasn’t singing. It was such a special moment for everyone there. And when you thought it couldn’t get any better,  the intro to “The Adventure” started playing. The show continued to build and build then AVA ended the set with an encore where they played “Do It For Me Now”  and then “Heaven”. I  was in awe the entire time. Angels and Airwaves is a band that will forever be one of my favorites.  Can’t wait to see them again!


James Coffman

Photojournalist - Dallas

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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