The Airborne Toxic Event at The Pageant, 4.25.2013

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve seen a band pack so much showmanship into their first three songs.

The Airborne Toxic Event, a band I first had the pleasure of seeing at the inaugural LouFest in 2010, is more than a group of professional musicians. At The Pageant, they proved themselves to be damned rock stars at heart.

Frontman Mikel Jollett waded into the crowd – singing, not just crowd surfing – and violinist Anna Bulbrook climbed on bassist Noah Harmon’s shoulders. Harmon and guitarist Steven Chen played inches from the edge of The Pageant’s stage. Jollett turned the mic around, letting St. Louis sing the words to his songs, and The Pageant’s audience was happy to oblige.

I can’t stress that this was all contained within the first three songs strongly enough. These are moves that can be expected later on in a set, or during an encore, when the audience is whipped into a frenzy. The Airborne Toxic Event didn’t need to waste time with building anything up. Their audience was ready. The whole venue was ready. And luckily, my camera was ready too.

For another take on the show, check out Gary Pierson’s review for PLAYBACK:stl.

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    Fantastic photos of an amazing band. I was lucky enough to see them play a tiny venue here in the UK on the 30 Shows in...
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