With a line wrapped around the venue, eager fans flocked to House of Blues Saturday night to catch a special show. Iconic Blink-182 vocalist Tom Delonge’s Angels & Airwaves came rolling through Dallas for the first time in seven years. I didn’t have high expectations, but I sure did leave with a sense of bliss. There was definitely some magic in the air as fans sang together in unison and rejoiced in the comfort of some of their favorite songs.
Opening up the show at 8:00 on the dot was the alt rock trio Charming Liars. They drew an impressive crowd as they displayed impressive energy and confidence on stage. Frontman Kiliyan Miguire stole the show with his stage presence and eccentric dancing. He amped up the Dallas crowd and kept them intrigued until the last note of the closing song, “Like a Drug.”
Next to the stage was Angels & Airwaves’ drummer Ilan Rubin’s solo project, The New Regime. After a brief audio technical difficulty with Ilan’s mic, the music got started and the crowd gathered in closer. The New Regime has a completely unique sound compared to Ilan’s other bands (AVA, Nine Inch Nails, Lostprophets, and briefly Paramore). This speaks to his individual style and creativity. He put on a great show with a ton of energy that lead up to him teaching the crowd the lyrics to his new song “Heart Mind Body & Soul.”
As it got closer to 9:30, the music hall was filled to the brim with eager fans. As the lights started to dim, the crowd broke out in “A-V-A” chants and ear piercing cheers. Angels & Airwaves came out swinging with “Surrender.” As Tom’s vocal chords warmed up, each song sounded better and better. After a couple of songs, the iconic backing track for “Everything’s Magic” rang out and the crowd let out a collective cheer. The energy in the room tripled as everyone started dancing around and singing along. After an epic drum solo while the rest of the band took a break, Tom brought Ilan back out to do a stripped down rendition of “Anomaly,” which he jokingly said was a song they wrote while lovemaking in Ecuador. Afterwards, Tom strapped on his acoustic guitar and sang a medley of Blink-182 songs consisting of “I Miss You,” “Wishing Well,” “Aliens Exist,” and a couple of others. The crowd ate it up and yelled every single word back to Tom. Those five minutes really reminded me why I love going to concerts. The energy in the room was spectacular. In this day and age, where it can be scary to leave your house, it was refreshing to be in an atmosphere of belonging and togetherness.
– Lauren Frederick