Angels and Airwaves / I Am the Avalanche

Angels and Airwaves / I Am the Avalanche: live in New Yorklive in New York (2006)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:

Contributed by: FamousLastWordsFamousLastWords
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I have been following Tom Delonge's projects for almost 10 years now. The first time I saw Blink-182 -- with 7 Seconds and Pennywise on the Good Times Tour in 1997 in Asbury park, NJ -- I was hooked. Blink had the SoCal punk style I loved and had elements of NOFX, Strung Out and Ten Foot Pole, bands.

I have been following Tom Delonge's projects for almost 10 years now. The first time I saw Blink-182 -- with 7 Seconds and Pennywise on the Good Times Tour in 1997 in Asbury park, NJ -- I was hooked. Blink had the SoCal punk style I loved and had elements of NOFX, Strung Out and Ten Foot Pole, bands they toured with at the time. Cheshire Cat will always be one of my favorite albums regardless what you elitists think of it. After Blink released Dude Ranch, I felt they lost the sound I liked as well as bands they toured with, but regardless I have kept up with them.

Fast forward to 2005. After the combustion of Blink, and following John Kerry during his election year, Tom Delonge announced his new project, Angels & Airwaves, after a year-and-a-half in absence of music. When I heard AVA was playing a small show at NYC's Bowery Ballroom with Drive-Thru's I Am the Avalanche, I had to go.

The aforementioned Brooklyn-based outfit took stage in full force. Vinny has one of the greatest stage presences in the scene today, reminding us what we loved about the Movielife. There is no comparing IATA to his previous project; they are simply something different. IATA played the the majority of their album (the same set list as the past few tours) and also threw in a cover of Fugazi's "Waiting Room" rather then the usual Lifetime cover. IATA are destined to blow up soon, with a great stage show and album. At first I wondered why they would be on the bill, but remembering how the Movielife was once related to Geffen through Forty Hour Train Back to Penn as well as being sponsored by Macbeth, and living 10 minuets away, it made sense.

Angels & Airwaves took the set to the huge airplane design backdrop and white ripped flags in the air. Something about Tom did not seem right; he made absolutely no eye contact whatsoever with the audience and band members and there was absolutely no stage banter. He seemed like the Tom Cruise of rock, in his own world. Before going to the show, I'd watched a few AVA shows from this tour on youtube and every word he said to the audience was word for word what he has said before. It was almost like he was a robot; he ranted about being in love, the war in Iraq, and said word for word what he has said in countless interviews and on myspace regarding this project. For example, at one point he said: "I didn't have a career, I didn't have a band, I didn't have music happening in my life and I was torn apart. I knew I had to make one of two choices. The first choice was to lie around and be sad, thinking back to the times when I was in a big band on top of the world," staring aimlessly into the crowd. This exact quote was on AVA's page.

Later he had a speech about God coming down and curing all terminal illnesses, and making everyone love each other for a day -- and was completely serious. This was the guy who sold 20 million albums from talking about fucking his sister, and doing dogs in the ass. I was wondering if this was all a sick joke.

The backbone of AVA is made up of Ryan Sinn , David Kennedy and Atom Willard. Sinn looked out of place and played solid but forgettable bass-lines. 50% of the time David Kennedy stood swaying with the guitar, as he and Delonge played airy U2-like riffs over pre-sampled tracks in the background. Atom Willard was a great backbone, playing note for note drumming. Musically, AVA was flawless, playing every thing as on the album as recorded. When Tom talked, the rest of the members stood back looking clueless. They know how absurd Tom's speeches were, as well as the 0 interaction between Tom and them taking place.

Tom Delonge's dream to change music with AVA's release will not become a reality. What AVA really is, is an artist wanting to be taking seriously. Tom Delonge realized in his early 30s with a wife and a child he wanted to stop writing about his dick and write respectable music. Hell, the last issue of People Magazine had an article about his wife making baby furniture. The problem is AVA has the exact same fanbase as Blink. No matter what album he writes, he is still going to be Tom Delonge. I can't see my mom or anyone over 16 getting into this. What Blink was to punk rock is what Angels is to modern rock...yes, it has elements of it, but it just isn't completely there.

In overview, the whole performance seemed like an act and it was hard to stomach and take serious what Tom was preaching onstage. In a way, AVA is like Blink. The difference is this time, the jokes are completely serious.

Set list:

  • Valkyrie Missile
  • Distraction
  • Good Day
  • The Adventure
  • A Little's Enough
  • There Is (Box Car Racer acoustic)
  • Not Now
  • Start the Machine
  • The Gift
  • The War


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Fallen_leaves (February 29, 2008)

AVA blow and need to stop making music. end of story

connor182x (February 24, 2007)

Personally, i think this is the best review on Angels and Airwaves i have EVER seen. They are so over rated. Not only do i think Tom is an idiot for leaving blink-182, but i think he's trapped in space with angels and airwaves... is it me or did i hear this in star wars??? blink-182 was one of the best bands ever, and yes, i agree. Cheshire Cat was maybe not one of the best albums of theirs, but THE best album. blink-182 did seem to lose that punky, un-produced, garage band-ish sound, maybe not when dude ranch came out. i think it ended when enema of the state came out. 44 is the band by mark hoppus, that in my oppinion is ten times better than Angels and Airwaves. It seems that AVA's album was written in ten minutes because it sappears that the guitar riif in each one of their songs is a mixed up version of the same thing in each song. Anyone who agrees with me, or wants to argue can aim me. x wtf connor x

blink for ever


Anonymous (May 26, 2006)

i am the avalanche was good at this show..angels and airwaves was a little intresting

its all based on opinion though, in reality its what you think theres no such thing as a right or wrong opinion..

i know they did not play not now but honestly who cares if the writer made a mistake? its not a big deal and it doesnt mean he doesnt have a right to say what he thinks.. i think its stupid how people at the show just said it was going to change music forever without looking at bands who have done similar things before this...this sound is nothing out of the ordinary so i dont understand why people are going so crazy about it....

i do not know the whole truth to what happend to blink 182 but i will tell you this..they were a much better band then the two side projects that are going around now.. plus 44 is horrible and in my opinion angels and airwaves live is practically fake because half the stuff on the recording is done on a synth...
thats just an opinion...

good review.... stay in school

Anonymous (May 25, 2006)

definately THE best album of 06!

Anonymous (May 24, 2006)

where the hell do they find these people that review.. they suck total dick at it

Anonymous (May 24, 2006)

whoever wrote this is a cynical bastard. tom is amazing at what he does. he didnt just 'all of a sudden' become serious. this is who he is and who he always has been. angels and airwaves is amazing, any of you who say they aren't are just lying to themselves and avoiding the truth. do not knock down tom's intentions when you don't even know him. and of course he will repeat some things at the shows, it's the first time people are seeing him. he wants to get the same message across to everyone. blink was awesome, boxcar was awesome, and so is AVA. i will support anything tom does because i understand him and what he's doing. he is a badass musician. it's easy to put down someone in as much spotlight as him so of course people like this are going to moan about the fact that tom is creating something beautiful and being himself... something many of you wish you could do. go for the world T.

Anonymous (May 23, 2006)

They didnt play "not now"...... I love it when reviews are written by someone who barely paid attention !!!!
what a moron

Anonymous (May 23, 2006)

Met tom outside that night.... Someone was like "tom, i masturbate to your songs!" tryin to be a wiseass, and he brushed it off by saying "who doesnt? " he's still the same guy i met at the warped tour the summer dude ranch came out.... Stop hating on a guy who's a more serious with his music..... Sheesh

Anonymous (May 23, 2006)

Review is just plain wrong..... I was there... Show was great...... Tom was normal, not like a robot.... And they did play "it hurts" because i remember ryan sinn sang the "it hurts" part over and over instead of tom.

Anonymous (May 23, 2006)

Wow, that last comment was ridiculous. Some real punx, straight street AVA fan sticking up for his, like, totally fav band.

Tom Delonge was fun as an irrelavent "jerk-off and proud of it" jokster in Blink... Much like other bands that decide to "mature," AVA is a sad, sad debacle.

Anonymous (May 23, 2006)

You have NO idea what you're talking about....

practically every assumption in this review is WRONG... I was there..the crowd was older and had more males then any blink show... the band played flawless..and IT'S STILL THEIR FIRST HANDFULL OF SHOWS...i'm sure tom has repeated himself since he's still trying to communicate what the hell AVA even is... AVA has already shipped more albums then blink too.. and they have received more critical acclaim then blink EVER did...

you're so fucking punk...and by that i mean pretintious, ignorant and blind.....it's 2006...grow up

Anonymous (May 22, 2006)

I just saw this tour in DC.

I was so god damn bored. The only time I had fun was when he was talking about taking off pants and making out for like 5 seconds. Other than that, the crowd was rather dead (granted it's DC.. inventors of stand around with your arms folded) after 4 songs. Hell, I've never seen a 930 Club show that didn't have some sort of pit going. It was just a fucking shove fest to get closer to Tom..

I do want to applaud security there tho. There was almost no crowd surfers that made it far. The one that nearly landed on me just fell straight to the ground cause I moved out of the way of catching the fat little turd.

Anonymous (May 22, 2006)

To you who said something about the Fugazi cover choice..

At least DC, everyone knows that song. The Redskins play it at home games, HFS used to have it on their rotation, hell, my mother could even recognize the song.

I guess Waiting Room would be THE Fugazi song that everyone would really know.

Anonymous (May 22, 2006)

Plus 44 > AVA

by far.

MrStabone (May 22, 2006)

great review!

terrible band!

Anonymous (May 22, 2006)

i liked the angels and airwaves song "the war" better when DUVALL WROTE IT 4 YEARS AGO AND IT WAS CALLED "WHAT IT IS". hey tom its hard to change the face of rock n' roll when you are just ripping off other bands that are better than you. sorry.

Anonymous (May 21, 2006)

When I saw them in SF, the crowd was definitely NOT the typical Blink 182 crowd.

I agree though, Ryan Sinn is out of place. Dude's trying to pull off a Johhny Depp/Pirate look, and he ends up looking like a complete douche bag.

I really dug the performance though.

famouslastwords (May 21, 2006)

"what does john kerry have to do with anything"

Tom was following his campaign last year and touring with him around the country for awhile.

Scruffy (May 21, 2006)

I'm not a huge Fugazi fan, so Waiting Room doesn't come immediately to mind. If I wanted to cover a Fugazi song, it'd be Merchandise, Five Corporations, Do You Like Me? or Bed For The Scraping.

danperrone (May 21, 2006)

what does john kerry have to do with anything

darkstarm (May 21, 2006)

waiting room is a pretty safe song to cover. it's the one fugazi song everyone knows, and while it's probably one of my favorite songs it would be way cooler if they covered one of fugazi's other bajillion awesome songs.

Anonymous (May 21, 2006)

" I hate bands that cover Fugazi."

"Most of all, i hate bands that try to gain credinility by covering fugazi. The dead giveaway is they pick 'Waiting Room' of all songs to cover - unsurprisingly the "single" of Fugazi's career, and ultimately their safest song. It's like Red Medicine, Repeater, and End Hits just don't exist."

Maybe they just like the song?

clash_city_rocker (May 20, 2006)

Angels And Airwaves SUCK. blink-182 was much better.

swank (May 20, 2006)

Oh...I am the Avalance.


swank (May 20, 2006)

iata covers turnpike gates, which they do a pretty decent job covering

Who's iata?

PaintItAlex (May 20, 2006)

I agree with famouslastword, Tom is trying to be serious but that just is not Tom Delonge, he will always be Tom from Blink.

jacknife737 (May 20, 2006)

AVA didn't play 'It Hurts', wtf?

Anonymous (May 19, 2006)

" I hate bands that cover Fugazi."

Most of all, i hate bands that try to gain credinility by covering fugazi. The dead giveaway is they pick 'Waiting Room' of all songs to cover - unsurprisingly the "single" of Fugazi's career, and ultimately their safest song. It's like Red Medicine, Repeater, and End Hits just don't exist.

SloaneDaley (May 19, 2006)

IATA' Fugazi cover is pretty decent because although I'm not a fan of their music too much they are great performers when I saw them do it Jay from the Suicide Machines helped out on the vocal tip which was really fun.

Angels & Airwaves soudn liek they are impossible to take live.

Anonymous (May 19, 2006)

iata covers turnpike gates, which they do a pretty decent job covering

rkl (May 19, 2006)

Hell, the last issue of People Magazine had an article about his wife making baby furniture.
why do you know this?

hubitcherkokov (May 19, 2006)

I like everything I've heard from the band so far. It's not groundbreaking, but it's catchy and interesting.

famouslastwords (May 19, 2006)

I wonder what this album is going to do first week. Im thinking 100,000 or so.

Anonymous (May 19, 2006)

im sorry im sorry im sorry im sorry

comon tom. wtf?

Anonymous (May 19, 2006)

so what when we all turn 30, we have to be boring as shit, and listen to suck ass music. Dude ranch is probably, actually it has to be my all time favorite. i'm 23 and still love it.

cantsitstill (May 19, 2006)

has anyone else noticed the riff from that Sounds song is the same as "Walk Idiot Walk" by the Hives?

skolarx (May 19, 2006)

hopefully he enjoys touring a bit more with this band than he did with blink. from what i've heard from people around my office they were whiny and hated touring as far back as when blink (no 182 yet) were opening for samiam in front of 200 people. i know the times i saw them, i think 3 or 4 times total starting in 98 or so, they were boring live and didn't really seem to want to be playing. just sort of went through the motions, the last time being the worst. it was sad when they got blown off the stage by bubba sparks

colin (May 19, 2006)

seems like tom went off the deep end when blink broke up.

Anonymous (May 19, 2006)

what lifetime song does iata cover?

ILOVESCOTT (May 19, 2006)

i cant take a review seriously when it insults the very people who are going to be reading it.

Anonymous (May 19, 2006)

whatever, Dude Ranch is still one of my all-time favorites.

kissdistinctlyamerican (May 19, 2006)

I hate bands that cover Fugazi.

Especially shitty bands that cover Fugazi.

SalsaShark (May 19, 2006)

Dad got nude, I wore a thong / For a hobby, I make bombs

Anonymous (May 19, 2006)

I think I'm different, but I'm the same and I'm wrong...

Scruffy (May 19, 2006)

Tom stopped singing about dicks and farts a while ago. I hear this explanation, that he's in his thirties and doesn't want to sing about poop anymore, to explain AVA. Except that doesn't work, because the last blink-182 album was as serious as this, but without the pretention.

I'm more and more worried about this. I had high hopes at first, but now, I don't know.

threechordsandthetruth (May 19, 2006)

What does AVA stand for? Angels Versus Airwaves? 'Versus' suggests a fight, some balls, energy, which it sounds like these guys don't have.

"I can't see my mom or anyone over 16 getting into this. "

What? Is your mom known for her exceptional good taste or something?

Anonymous (May 19, 2006)

Watch old vids of blink on utube, they are very good!

Anonymous (May 19, 2006)

I still listen to dude ranch and enema and cheshire regular basis. Ava is unlistenable muck.

Anonymous (May 19, 2006)

I heard part of the AVA disk the other day and I just didn't care for it. I'm not jumping on any bandwagon, I just didn't really like it. Tom's whiney, quiet to louder vocals got annoying fast and the music just got a little boring too. Meh.

Anonymous (May 19, 2006)

That last sentence was supposed to be 18 Plus, but the sign didn't show up. Also, consider this: Blink was a TRL mainstay during its time. Has AVA even been on the countdown once?

Your review sounds rather mature and well-written, but you really do a disservice for letting her personal views bias your review.

Anonymous (May 19, 2006)

How can you do somehting with a million powercords be revolutionary. Seriously, there are way better atmospheric bands. Codeseven, Dredg and Cave-In. Secondly Tom cannot sing in tune. It drives me crazy. I liked some of the older blink stuff. The song "Feelin this" had a similar problem as this. TOMS VOICE SUCKS. Although some of the instrumentals are interesting when its not powe cords, but for those parts it sounds like postal service. I am being very harsh, but dam Tom never deserved half the fame he got in the first place, especially for spawning a million shity bands.

Anonymous (May 19, 2006)

There are many things wrong with this review. Here's a few (and I went to the show):

1) IATA is rather similar to the Movielife. The Movielife didn't blow up. IATA will not either, not with the lineup they have. The drummer might be the ugliest person I've ever seen in a band, and the whole enterprise looked like a white trash convention. I liked the Movielife. The two bands will have more of a similar fanbase than Blink and AVA.

2) Did you even take a look at the makeup of the crowd? If so, answer me this: what is the typical makeup of a Blink 182 concert? Answer: 12-16 year old girls (and boys). Now tell me, since you were at the show, right, what the makeup of the sold out Bowery show was. Wasn't it mostly male and 18 ?

allison_le_gnome (May 19, 2006)

Wow, Delonge IS the Tom Cruise of punk rock. What a creepy comparison.

Very true.

plaidical (May 19, 2006)

what a lunatic
I'm interested in Plus 44 stuff. so far no over-hyped BS from them

MikeStupid (May 19, 2006)

One of the things that appealed to me about blink was how unpretentious they were about what they did. This sounds like the exact opposite.

Anonymous (May 19, 2006)

well put....
wait tom played 'not now'?thats a blink song..and that song was every much mark and travis as it was tom.

Anonymous (May 19, 2006)

It seems like Tom is nursing some pretty serious hurt; to go from being the goofiest guy in Blink 182 to this level of seriousness so quickly seems pretty drastic.

Anonymous (May 19, 2006)

remember when box car racer was first coming out and they promised how they were heavily influenced by refused and fugazi and the minutemen? remember how they sounded nothing like those bands and just like a "serious" version of blink?

skaboom (May 19, 2006)

Wow, Delonge IS the Tom Cruise of punk rock. What a creepy comparison.

mcgregor107 (May 19, 2006)

yeeesh, what a psycho..

usversusthem (May 19, 2006)

Someone really needs to put Tom out of his misery.

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