Dan Siebold

Angels & Airwaves @ House of Blues Anaheim – 10/02/2019

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After 7 years, Angels & Airwaves have returned to the road and Wednesday October 2nd they made the first of two scheduled stops at the House of Blues Anaheim. The group originally created by the former Blink-182 guitar/vocalist Tom DeLonge in 2005 as an experimental side project used the extended absence to sell out a string of SoCal shows, including this one in Orange County.

It’s not that DeLonge has been lazy during his hiatus from creating new AVA music, he has been busy heading up the To The Stars Academy. Based in Encinitas, the corporation primarily focuses on the exploration of UFOs and extraterrestrial life. Earlier this year DeLonge took an active part in a six episode History Channel series “Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation”.

Although DeLonge has not released a new album since 2014’s The Dream Walker, he was able to sneak out two new tracks over the past few months…with a rumored album potentially due by year’s end. Both “Rebel Girl” and “Kiss & Tell” are quintessential AVA offerings. All of DeLonge’s songs have a majestic movie soundtrack feel. Gone are days of fart jokes at live shows with his Blink bandmate Mark Hoppus, but rest assured that DeLonge still possesses the same infectious snarky attitude.

At 9pm sharp, DeLonge hit the stage along with his bandmates—drummer Ilan Rubin and guitarist David Kennedy. Bright LED lights accompanied the evening’s lead song, “Surrender” as DeLonge (complete with a Ford trucker hat) crooned his way through what would be the first of a collection of 15 diverse songs on the evening’s setlist. The band’s songs have a level of accessibility that cannot be found with other acts. The music and overall persona of AVA resonates directly with their fans.

Songs from each of the band’s 5 albums received coverage this evening, including early favorites “It Hurts” and the peppy “Everything’s Magic”. The synth-infused “Kiss With A Spell” was followed by the recently released track “Rebel Girl”. The soarin’ anthem (and first-ever single) “The Adventure” was followed by “Anomaly”, which saw DeLonge perform acoustically.  

A wicked chest virus that hampered DeLonge for many nights over the past week was the topic of conversation in between songs as the lead singer took the time to catch his breath on many occasions. He apologized multiple times throughout the evening and genuinely seemed to be regretful for his temporary health condition.

A cover of his Blink-182 tune “I Miss You” was followed by a brief chat in regards to his To The Stars involvement, which appropriately led into another Blink song, “Aliens Exist”. A brief two song encore included a drum heavy version of “Do It For Me Now” and the night’s final song, “Heaven”.

Fans of AVA can catch the band locally here in SoCal when they return to the House of Blues Anaheim on Tuesday, October 8th followed by another performance at the Belasco in Downtown LA on Wednesday October 9th. A Thursday December 6th gig at the Ventura Theatre was recently added to the schedule so local fans have multiple opportunities to catch this entertaining supergroup.

Setlist:  Surrender | It Hurts | Everything’s Magic | Paralyzed | Moon As My Witness | Anxiety | Kiss With A Spell | Rebel Girl | The Adventure | Anomaly | I Miss You/Aliens Exist | Young London | Breathe   Encore:  Do It For Me Now | Heaven 

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