By now, you already know that I LOVE music. One of the best things about Pandora is finding new bands, and I fight the urge to buy everything I like on iTunes.
But I’ve still found the absolute best way to find new music is through friends. DadJovi’s friend introduced me to Wilco, my favorite band of all time (well, other than The Beatles, natch) about six or seven years ago.
Last night, our friends introduced us to a new band and it was a match made in rock and roll heaven.
It was my first time seeing a concert at the newly re-opened Beacham Theater in downtown Orlando. It’s actually a theater that first opened in the 1920s for vaudeville acts. In recent years, it’s been strictly a nightclub (and still is on many nights, as you can see in the marquee above). But now it’s also partnered with The Social next door, one of my favorite live music venues ever, and it’s been bringing in some great acts since earlier this year.
As soon as the band took the stage, I loved their style. The umbrellas are a nice touch.
When we got our concert tickets a couple months ago, we got one of their albums and started casually listening. But, for the most part, I don’t really know much of their music. Sometimes that can make a concert less enjoyable but not this night. It was just a great rock show.
And c’mon, the band features a violist (sorry, viola) and a stand-up bass. Strings for the win!
I’ve been to enough concerts in my life to know when a band is just going through the motions or when they’re actually pouring their heart and soul into a show. This band was present in every way. The lead singer, Mikel Jollett, even came out into the audience during a couple of the songs. The packed crowd was really into the show and the band was giving the energy right back. I don’t care who the band is and if you like them or not, but if you’re lucky to be at a show like that, it’s always a good time.
But to me, the highlight of the night had to be their new song, “The Kids Are Ready to Die.” Before they started the song, Mikel explained to the crowd that the band had toured Europe and spent a lot of time meeting with soldiers in Germany. He said the men and women in uniform expressed their frustration over the lack of resources and accurate information they’ve been given over the past 10 years of war.
Mikel explained that they’ve been accused of being anti-American with the song, but they’re just trying to give a voice to the real concerns of our soldiers. Why aren’t more bands angrier about the wars and the thousands of young people who’ve lost their lives? I’m not going to “go political” tonight but it was so refreshing to FINALLY hear songwriters singing so beautifully about the conflicts of war rather than just writing another song about being young, confused and unlucky in love.
And you know what’s even cooler than a band giving a great show and singing songs with heart? Post-show bonding with the fans! After their killer encore (which included covers of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire,” the classic “I Fought the Law,” and Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues”), the band tossed their guitar picks and drumsticks into the crowd.
And then, Mikel came out into the crowd to shake hands, sign autographs and pose for pictures. Awesome.
I mean, what’s hotter than a sweaty lead singer, even if he is in a sleevesless shirt? Not much, my friends. Not much. As you can see, my girlfriends and I were beyond excited to get our picture with him and he couldn’t have been nicer. We had already had our photo taken with him, but when I checked my phone, I realized my friend’s husband hadn’t actually taken the photo. So, he let us come back for Try No. 2.
So, thank you The Airborne Toxic Event for putting on a kickass show. It’s great to meet you and I look forward to following your music and career.
Check out their schedule and if they happen to come to your area, do not hesitate to check them out. You won’t be sorry.