Angels & Airwaves + Le Blorr @ Rock City, Nottingham – 9th April 2012

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Review by Robert Moody and Photos by Laura Patterson

Easter Weekend is traditionally a time for weekends away, but that didn’t stop a good crowd descending on Nottingham’s Rock City for the opening date of Angels & Airwaves UK Tour, their first visit since the release of their 4th studio album, Love Part II.

The sole support of the evening was Floridian three-piece Le Blorr, who played a highly eclectic half hour set – whilst most of the set was spent in a somewhat traditional Guitar/Bass/Drums setup, there was also regular use of keyboards and additional percussion, and even a Harmonica interlude. The band moved between heavier rock riffs and instrumental electronic melodies with ease, whilst vocalist Chris Hess, who introduced himself as ‘Cookie’, added a mostly melancholy overtone. It was clear that Le Blorr are influenced by many styles, as elements of Blues, Jazz, and even Country and Western regularly popped up in their work, and they left to warm applause from the crowd.

There was, however, no doubting who the crowd had come to see, as Angels & Airwaves arrived onstage to a deafening chorus of cheers from the Nottingham crowd, and proceeded to play through an extensive set list, mixing songs from earlier albums with the newer offerings of their 2 concept albums, Love Part 1 and 2. Drummer Ilan Rubin, touring with the band for the first time, put in a highly enthusiastic performance, over which guitarist David Kennedy and Bassist Matt Wachter layered an impressive mix of guitar riffs and keyboard/synth works. Most songs maintained a certain relaxed ambience even amongst the heavier material and it is not hard to see how the ‘space-rock’ term often gets attached to the band. Vocalist Tom DeLonge reels off the songs in his trademark style, and he is certainly not short of help – whilst in its infancy the band may have been followed more by fans of the artists’ previous projects, most notably Blink 182, the number of people singing along to every word of every song made it clear this is no longer the case. In fact, the loudest reactions were reserved for some of the band’s earlier singles, most notably ‘It Hurts’ and ‘The Adventure’. With the exception of a genuinely amusing story from Tom about the loss of his ‘innocence’ during his teenage years, audience interaction between songs was very limited, as the band obviously preferred to let their music do the talking. The encore began with an impressive piano solo from Ilan in ‘All That We Are’, and by the time the band closed out with ‘The War’, there is no doubt that Angels & Airwaves are now very much a band with their own fanbase – and on tonight’s evidence, one that went home very happy indeed.

And you can see more of Laura’s photos here:

Click here to read Rob’s interview with Tom DeLong