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No Second Chances For Angels And Airwaves and Co. at The Metropolis, Feb. 21

Posted by Jenny / February 22, 2008

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What do Angels and Airwaves, The Color Fred, and Ace Enders and A Million Different People have in common?

None of them would have seen the light of day had one of their members not deserted their former bands. Arthur “Ace” Enders is formerly of The Early November, and I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business fame. Fred Mascherino was, until recently, the lead guitarist and co-lyricist of Taking Back Sunday. I don’t think I need to tell you which band A&A’s Tom DeLonge used to be in.

Another thing they have in common is that they all played the Metropolis last night, along with indie rock quintet Meg & Dia. Regrettably, it was far from a great show.

If it’s of any indication, Ace Enders and Co. was probably the best band on the bill, performance-wise. Enders’ honesty was transparent not only in his music, but in the earnest way he addressed the audience. “When I entered the music business, about eight years ago, I wanted to make music that would change people’s lives,” he confided before launching into his set’s final song. If anything, he set the bar too high for all the bands to come.

20080221_meganddia.jpg I had high hopes for The Color Fred. Anyone who’s ever listened to TBS knows Mascherino is an amazing guitarist. Anyone who’s seen him live with TBS knows he’s a terribly modest dude. Or at least he used to be. The Fred Mascherino onstage last night was only one of those things. He was also very blatantly drunk. Perhaps even more so when I approached him after the set.

It was a tragic sight, really. Around this time last year, TBS was playing a sold-out Olympia Theatre. I can only imagine what would’ve happened to Mascherino had he been caught hanging by the merch stand then. He would’ve gotten mobbed. Yet, last night, almost no one was around to chat with him. It was as if no one realized who he was. And then, when he spoke –of touring with A&A, of the biting cold outside, of his new record– he was such a mess.

I couldn’t have been more disappointed.

I will give Meg & Dia credit because they write catchy songs and their band members are very skilled musicians. But onstage, the two sisters were unconvincing. Don’t get me wrong – they’re both beautiful girls, but they’re just so fragile. I would’ve liked to see them break loose and rock out harder. No more hands behind your backs, girls – you’re in a rock band.

Finally, Angels and Airwaves. I don’t think I can objectively comment on their set. Maybe I haven’t forgiven DeLonge for breaking up Blink-182 yet. Or maybe I’m not too far off thinking all their songs sound the same. Maybe I’m validated in my disliking of this painfully generic, pre-packaged brand of arena rock. I simply kept wishing for him to drop his new get-up and launch into one of his signature anthems, like “First Date.”

And as far as the winners of this old vs. new band competition go, the choice is obvious.

Discussion

15 Comments

G / February 22, 2008 at 09:58 am
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Sweet review Jenny. Tom's a big jerk. He shall never attain forgiveness, or any further musical success for that matter. Your narrative makes me glad I didn't attend such a lame show.

G
Jer / February 22, 2008 at 01:14 pm
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Jenny....a stalking story gone bad. Oh no. Hopefully this won't hamper future attempts to meet bands afterwards.

Melanie / February 22, 2008 at 01:46 pm
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Tom IS a big jerk. I had the biggest crush on him in high school and it absolutely broke my heart to find out the reality of his selfish, selfish ways.
Jenny / February 22, 2008 at 01:50 pm
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Jer, it didn't go bad per se. He just wasn't giving me very good answers. Slurring his words and everything. Lost stare. Lay off the drinks, buddy. ... I talked to Meg Frampton too, she was a sweetheart, although just a tad shy. Anyway, these things happen. Do you honestly think this isolated incident is enough to permanently scare Jenny Chukhovich off from rockstar stalkage? ;)
simon / February 22, 2008 at 11:27 pm
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Hi,

I think you're making a mistake, trying to compare AvA to the old bands of its the musicians.

I too, was a fan of Blink... But it was like 4 or 5 years ago ! And even if I still feel something hearing What's my Age again or First Date, this is not the kind of music I am looking for anymore.

Tom said something about this last night. Thus, in the Box Car Racer album, you can see a radical change in the music (and only Mark was missing !) : more percussions and above all more melodic than punk. That's the same thing with the last blink182 album.

Now Tom just wanna play this kind of music. We should'nt blame him for that... but that's right : Blink182 WAS a huge band !! And it's probably better they stopped like this, at the edge of their popularity, rather than 2 or 3 years later.

But that's just what I'm thinking...
Bye ;o)
Jenny / February 24, 2008 at 12:26 pm
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Hi Simon,

I appreciate your comment. Thanks. I agree with you in the respect that music should evolve along with its audience. I think we can both agree that Blink's last album [self-titled] was its most mature work, drifting away from the signature juvenile style of pop-punk they got famous for, although they still kept some of its influences. As both the musicians and the fans get older, there's a desire to evolve.

However, in my personal opinion, for Tom DeLonge to write the kind of music he's writing now, is a regression, not a progression. I don't think A&A is either new, original or relevant. I think it's bland, radio-friendly atmospheric rock, and nothing else. Besides, DeLonge is far from being an outstanding singer. His style of vocals fit well with the Blink aesthetic, but I just don't feel that the songs he's writing now benefit from the vocals he lends them - at all.

Anyway, that was my personal opinion, but I do appreciate an opinion from the other side of the spectrum. Thanks for commenting.
Melanie / February 24, 2008 at 05:35 pm
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I don't think Tom is a jerk for leaving Blink to make his own music, I think he is a jerk for the backstabbing way he left Blink, keeping the other members in the dark while he announced what was to them, a surprise indefinate hiatus, just as an excuse for him to break free. Very calculated and unfair. When I see plus 44 i feel awful for Mark because he lost his best friend and career at the SAME TIME. but whatever
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