A few years back, Malimus played a CD by the oddly named The Airborne Toxic Event for me. Aside from wondering if their band name is an elaborate euphemism for "fart", i found their music to be pretty catchy. It is all power ballads with crunchy guitars, like if Jon Bon Jovi had grown up listening to Black Flag instead of Black Sabbath. Non-challenging, but engaging at their best, and entertaining almost all of the time.
When the band blew through town on their most recent tour supporting their Such Hot Blood record, their promo company asked me if i wanted to go. They even offered me a real Photographer's Pass to the venue, which is one of those old school places that acts as if most people donít carry a pretty good digital camera with them at all times, and thus the venue makes a fuss about a dedicated camera. So this was kind of a big deal, and i was interested. I asked Malimus, and he said sure, so we headed over to Buckhead for the event.
It was a rainy night, so i was slightly dampened when i made it into The Buckhead Theater. This is a really nice venue these days, with a huge open lobby and decent bars. It was about half full when we got there, and we only had to wait a few minutes before the first act took the stage.
They mumbled something, then played a generic pop tune. They mumbled something else and played another tune that did not inspire me.
I retreated from the photographers area and stood at the back, near the soundboard, enjoying a beer with Malimus while ignoring the act on stage.
After the third of fourth generic pop tune, the incomprehensible between-song dialog ended with, "frum Eirelan" and we realized that this was a band with really thick Irish accents.
Now that you mention it, he does look kinda Irish.
They were called Kodaline, and one or two of their songs were catchy, but most of them were unremarkable. A few people in the crowd seemed to enjoy them, and the younger audience members seemed to know the last two songs in their set. I guess those were the YouTube hits.
And as Kodaline geared out, i took a good look at the crowd. They were young. The average age of the room was in the early 20s, if not lower. Let's just say that Malimus and i are a little outside of that age range. So it was weird being at the show, and to be honest after that lackluster opening performance, i began to have my doubts. I mean, i had to be at work at 8 AM the next day! Staying up late at a show is a real hassle sometimes...
Oh sweet Buddha -- i am old, aren't i! Dammit.
Well, the existential crisis based on my imminent fogey-hood did not hit me at the show. Instead i sat there enjoying a good beer with Malimus and chatting about the crowd and other music we were listening to.
Tipping the travel guitar case might cause another type fo airborne toxic event...
TATE took the stage between 9:30 and 10. Again i went up to the Photographers Pit between the crowd and the stage to take some photos.
TATE are a multi-gendered, multi-ethnic 5-piece. There is a girl on violin and keyboards, an Asian guy on lead guitar, and then white male vocalist/guitarist, bassist, and drummer. I live in a city where the indie rock scene is pretty lilywhite, so that lineup was at least a little different. Even if the bassist did have de rigueur tattooing that would enable him to fit in with almost any band.
I stood there in the foot and a half wide space between the edge of the stage and the wooden barriers that kept the teenagers at bay, and watched the band just tear into it. They bounced around like mad, sweating, thrashing, jumping around the stage -- all of which made it hard to photograph them. But the crowd got into it, and the band certainly had a lot of enthusiasm.
It helps that the music was head-boppingly good too. Their sound is poppy, with a hint of punk heritage thrown in. They played for about 2 hours, and i knew very little of what they played. I recognized the song Like Gasoline, and on the encore they jammed and riffed on American Girl and Born in the USA (both at one time is a little more jingoism than i really comfortable with, but whatever). Still, it was enjoyable. I liked seeing them live. They were catchy and fun.
Some more photos (i took over 200!):