Review: Angels and Airwaves, HMV Ritz Manchester,11/4/12

It’s been six years since Angels and Airwaves formed out of the ashes of disgruntled band Blink-182. But it is still hard to look past the aura of front man Tom Delonge and see the band rather than it just appearing to be a side project of the Blink-182 guitarist.

With the recent addition of Love Part II Angels and Airwaves now have an impressive back catalogue of songs to call up on when playing live shows. The showmanship and performance of the band is incredible, the show opens with a terrific lighting set-up and a slow building instrumental which really gives the audience the feeling that something monumental is coming.

The band then launch into a mixture of hit singles; ‘The Adventure’,’ It Hurts’ and ‘Everything’s Magic’ along with material from the new album; ‘Saturday Love’ ‘Dry Your Eyes’ ‘Surrender’. The fast paced show is a fine combination of both new and old Angels and Airwaves tracks.

There is a theme running throughout the show of ‘love’ and ‘space’ which brings the music the fans and the band together is one. You really feel an atmosphere being created and a connection between the band and the fans both lyrically and musically.

As the gig begins to draw to a close there is a nervous tension building, Angels and Airwaves are reeling off all of their best songs, what are they going to leave for the encore? Then out of nowhere the band hit the encore and provide the highlight of the night.

Front man Tom Delonge had the crowd gripped on his every word as he told an endearing story about his youth and falling in love as a young man and then truly falling in love as he grew older before launching into a rendition of the Boxcar Racer classic ‘There Is’.  This was followed by a piano solo from ne drummer Ilan Rubin and lead beautifully into ‘We Are What We Are’.  At just 21 years of age Rubin is an impressive performer on both piano and on percussion within a band where most members are old enough to be his dad.

The show, complete with atmospheric arena anthems and a stage presence to match really held the crowd on tender hooks and silenced anyone who has ever doubted that Angels and Airwaves are not a fully legitimate band.

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