ANGELS & AIRWAVES NUS Cultural Centre 7th December 2008

It was a gig of many hits and a couple of misses.

The chosen venue (NUS UCC) was somewhat risky. Angels & Airwaves (AVA) was easily the 1st international band with a huge passionate fanbase to appear at UCC. The UCC models itself as a host of buttoned down arts events after The Esplanade. 

AVA is however a ROCK BAND, loud, solid and hard. And while The Esplanade has learned how to handle such acts, UCC has much to improve on in comparison. Among other things, crowd control was an obvious problem with $85 far-end ticket holders rushing forward into the $180+ stage-side areas.

On the band’s part, AVA was nearly impeccable. Tom DeLonge entertained, and pandered: a medley of songs from the Blink182 years was his hint to the fans that he knows his roots. (Judging by the loud echoes to Reckless Abandon, so do they!)

But with anthems like The Adventure, AVA laid down strong reminders on what everyone had came for.

A great night, a triumph for AVA, an OK (but could be better) start for UCC as a rock show venue.

(Thomas Tan)

I guess you could say that I’m less of a fan than Thomas and whilst it was obvious that the band was giving its fans they had come for, I wondered what the neutrals thought about Tom DeLonge’s juvenile frat-boy stage antics. Indulging in a little too much toilet humour for my taste, DeLonge’s in-between banter bordered on the puerile and stood in sharp contrast with the mature U2 meets Police sonic thrust of the band’s material. Perhaps a Blink reunion is not too far away from DeLonge’s mind as he tested the waters with a couple of Blink songs which had the rapturous crowd singing in wild abandon. That all said, apart from my stated reservations, a splendid time was had by all…

… and there’s more … 

Pix by Thomas Tan. See more here.

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