Rock meets classical at once-in-a-lifetime show
The Airborne Toxic Event played Denver Saturday night. And by all indications, the Cure-worshiping, Smiths-stealing band should have put on a perfectly adequate, radio-perfect, boring-ass performance. Instead, they tag-teamed with the Colorado Symphony, blew the doors off the Boettcher Concert Hall and shook up just what a Mile High rock show can (and should) be.
TATE seems to have been created in a government lab for prime-time success: Not only do they have the charming frontman (Mikel Jollet), they also rock a badboy bassist (Noah Harmon), a cool Asian guitarist (Steven Chen), a quietly skilled drummer (Daren Taylor) and an indie-crush multi-instrumentalist (Anna Bulbrook). So, why aren't they incredibly rich/annoying? Because every last one of them is talented enough to give their professional symphony counterparts a run for their money, and seems determined to prove it.
By the time the band got to their modest radio hit "Sometime Around Midnight," the show had already been in full swing for a long time. Bulked up with the full weight of the Symphony, vaguely interesting cuts such as "Does This Mean You're Moving On?" suddenly became operatic compositions complete with soaring string arrangements and adrenaline-fueled, warlike percussion. Whether the glory belongs to the rockers, the classicists, or both, we were stunned.
One show might not make TATE the next U2, but it sure as hell makes us eager to hear their new album, "All At Once," when it drops in April. And since the Colorado Symphony, like, lives here? Best to give them some love as well. — Matt Farley, Metromix