The Airbourne Toxic Event - All I Ever Wanted: Live From Walt Disney Concert Hall
They have their fans, do The Airbourne Toxic Event. Some of them even lurk within the back rooms and corridors of TMF's gleaming, towering HQ; those who've been enamoured by the poetry and passion, unswayed by the cynics who've dismissed them with the too-easily spat notion of them being an Arcade Fire-lite, bandwagon jumpers of Bush-like proportions.
Perhaps then, this DVD is an attempt to allay some of that cynicism. A visual record of the Los Angeles band's performance at the prestigous home town venue last December, it certainly gives viewers an insight into the band's mechanics and the personalities within. They come over as a personable bunch, with the footage switching between the gig itself and the preparations before hand. Being a special one-off event, special stuff has to happen. This mostly involves getting more strings in, but also necessitates a visit to a dress shop and a local high school. Mikel Jollett may be no Win Butler, but maybe there's something in that. Life is weird enough without adding more weirdoes to the mix. Jollett you would go for a capucinno with and discuss the day's newspaper headlines. We all need someone like that in our lives.
Am I any more familiar with their catalogue than I was before giving the disc a spin? Not a bit. They sound exactly as I thought they would just from reading about them: the acoustics are strummed, the upright bass is slapped, the violin is stroked and the drummer seems to have the most fun out of everyone. They throw in a couple of covers to flesh things out (the second of which is part and parcel of the evening's best entertainment) and everyone goes home happy. Look, it's a behind-the-scenes glimpse at life in a band (i.e. more glamourous than reality) and I'd watch this stuff all day, every day if someone was paying me to do so.
Those who prefer their alt-rock a tad more civilised and well read (they got their name via a Don DeLillo novel) will not find anything here to upset their sensibilities, and you come away with at least some sense of why someone, somewhere will have a TATE tattoo.