Gig Review
Angels And Airwaves
Bristol, Academy
15th April 2008

I have always had more positive things to say about the Academy in Bristol than I have negative, and to be fair to the venue they always have some really good bands playing there, but I have now come to the conclusion that the best thing they could do to the venue is bulldoze it down and rebuild it, the Americans seem to do it all the time with their buildings and build a building that’s 10 times better in its replacement, don’t get me wrong the Academy is an ok venue but it’s certainly seen better days. The venue is extremely small and looks really run down inside with pillers everywhere, once you find your spot in the venue you are stuck their for the rest of the night unless you are prepared to battle your way out, the lighting in the venue is extremely poor changing from your standard red and green and the sound is always hit or miss.

Tonight Angels And Airwaves decided to play at the Academy in Bristol on their UK tour, now Bristol is the last place that I would expect Angels And Airwaves to play, but myself and what seemed like hundreds of other people were quite excited to see Angels And Airwaves coming to town.

We got to the Academy just before 8.30pm ready to see the main support band You Me At Six, but due to someone giving us the wrong stage times You Me At Six had already played and the stage was being set up for Angels And Airwaves, the stage featured a big spacey looking Angels And Airwaves banner at the back situated above the drum kit, the usual stuff happened during set up time with the roadie shouting "1,2" down the microphone testing that it was all set right this was all met with cheers from the crowd, who you could clearly tell were gig virgins.

After about 30 minutes of the stage crew setting up, the clock ticked 9pm and the lights went dark, Angels And Airwaves stormed the stage opening up with 'Call To Arms', the first track from their current album 'I-Empire'. The crowd roared in delight and the wait was over and Angels And Airwaves were finally on stage, frontman Tom Delonge looked more sensible than he has looked in years with his nice new short haircut replacing the emo fringe he has supported for years, and drummer Atom Willard looked the part sporting longish hair that flapped around his face as he bashed the crap out of his drums.

The band fired through songs from both albums with 'It Hurts' and 'Distraction' from the bands debut album 'We Don't Need To Whisper' which went down extremely well with the crowd. 'Everything Magic' sounded just as good as it does on cd, with the crowd loving every moment singing word for word back to the band.

Now the first song I ever heard by Angels And Airwaves and also one of my favourite tracks by the band is 'The Adventure' I was extremely looking forward to the band playing this, but once it came and went I was left feeling quite dissapointed it just didn’t sound or feel the same and this is something that I blame the venue for as the sound through the whole set was quite hit or miss, during one song it would be perfect and then the next it would sound a mess.

It took the band nearly half way through there set before they introduced themselves and spoke to the crowd, now this is something that I was shocked about as Tom Delonge likes to talk but he made up for lost time by talking in between most songs from this point on, you could clearly see that the old Tom Delonge is slowly coming back, he was back to his jokey self making jokes about vagina's, how Bristol is the best place and all the usual stuff he used to joke about. The biggest surprise during the set was when they played a few fast paced punk rock shows including a rendition of Blink 182's 'Reckless Abandon', this was a total crowd pleaser and Tom Delonge seemed very happy playing it, joking along with the crowd after. The final song of the night was 'Valkiline Missile' the opening track from the bands debut album 'We Don't Need To Whisper' the song went down a storm and the long introduction was executed perfectly.

I don’t know why it happens but when a band announces this is our last song of the night, the last words are spoken and the last notes are played, the instruments hit the floor the band leaves the stage yet the venues lights don’t come on, clearly due to the band coming back on stage in 2 minutes to play an en-core, but the crowd starts to leave, now all these people can’t be gig virgins as it happens at every show with two thirds of the crowd screaming for the band to come back and the other third leaving. Like expected Angels And Airwaves retook to the stage to play two more songs, the first was 'True Love' which went down well, and the last song of the night was the bands hardest hitting song 'The War', the riffs were thick and heavy and was a real crowd pleaser and great end to the show.

Now Tom Delonge has promised a lot of things in his time, from Angels And Airwaves being the best band in the world and how each Angels And Airwaves album is the best album in the world, these promises have always failed which of course is all down to a matter of opinion with some people agreeing to Tom's claims and a big majority of people disagreeing with them, I personally like Angels And Airwaves and enjoy the two albums but do not agree with the above statements. Tom now has another failed promise on his hands, a few months before the band started their tour he promised that they would be using new NASA technology in their set, call me stupid but I don’t call wearing a pair of goggles with green light saber style lasers beaming out into the crowd for 20 seconds and prancing around like a space man NASA technology.

Angels And Airwaves have come along way in the three years they have been together, they are now an extremely tight sounding band, they totally know how to rock out and please a crowd, the majority of the people at the Academy tonight went away with a smile on their face, but somehow I can’t see the band ever getting to fill out huge stadiums like Tom dreams off, the only way Tom will be filling out stadiums again is if and when Blink 182 reform which is bound to happen sooner or later.


Review By Trigger
 Angels And Airwaves

Tom DeLonge (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar)
David Kennedy (Lead Guitar)
Matt Wachter (Bass, Backing Vocals, Keyboards)
Atom Willard (Drums)
 Band Related Links
Angels And Airwaves Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?