Many know guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Tom DeLonge from the insanely popular band Blink-182. This past Saturday did not bring Blink-182 to Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom, but instead Tom’s other booming band Angels and Airwaves. DeLonge formed Angels and Airwaves in 2005 after Blink-182 announced their infamous “indefinite hiatus” in hopes of creating positive music to inspire the younger generation. With immediate success assisted by the built-in Blink-182 fanbase, Angels and Airwaves has released three studio albums since their formation five years ago: We Don’t Need To Whisper, I-Empire, and LOVE. The latter being a free download via the band’s official website.
More photos of Angels and Airwaves and the set list after the jump…
Collectively, each member of Angels and Airwaves brings a hefty and respectable resume to the table. Together, this SoCal alternative rock band has what it takes to survive in the modern age of music: a clear musical direction along with superb talent oozing from each musician on the stage. Along with DeLonge, band members include bassist Matt Wachter (formerly of 30 Seconds To Mars), drummer Adam “Atom” Willard (formerly of The Offspring), and guitarist/keyboardist David Kennedy (formerly of Box Car Racer).
The notorious special effects and light show that accompanies an Angels and Airwaves concert was present in Chicago and did not disappoint. The lighting was strategically paired with the lyrics and beats of each song, accentuating the music and serving to make each tune that much more powerful. Everything from the colors, to the contrast between light and dark, to the strobes sporadically shooting out from the behind the band, helped to create a visually enhanced ambience that perfectly matched the elevated sound of Angels and Airwaves.
Staying true to an obvious theme focused around the concept of space, the quartet incorporated seamless interludes, which transitioned and proceeded to break into musical rants. The crowd went crazy! Angels and Airwaves effectively used the vulnerability of their fans to their advantage, building up everybody’s emotions to a peak of pure adoration. Thus, making the show an experience Angels and Airwaves fans will never forget. This, my friends, was an act of sheer brilliance.
DeLonge’s control over the crowd was a fascination within itself. The singer pointed and the audience cheered. He turned the microphone toward the fans and they sang at the top of their lungs. The guitarist instructed us to jump and everyone jumped. DeLonge’s distinct dance moves and expressive hand movements were entertaining at best. The songwriter’s genuine performance gave observers a taste of his true essence. The extent of DeLonge’s prodigious musical talent is clearly evident through his vocal ability, guitar skills, and impressive aptitude for creating some of the most memorable melodies you have ever heard.
With a robust set list, fans were exposed to a variety of Angels and Airwaves, being treated to the band’s classics along with the newest compositions. No one was ready for the show to be over, and that included DeLonge.
“Well, fuck! The show’s almost over. Shit! I’m all warmed up. Now I’m ready to start over,” exclaimed DeLonge upon the completion of “Breathe.” Everyone was secretly hoping this was true, but unfortunately fans had to be satisfied with the night’s final song, “The War.”
Click on thumbnails of Angels and Airwaves to enlarge photos:
Written by: Kate Jacobsen
Photographed by: Jennifer Boyer