tate 2014
Airborne Toxic Event live at The Depot

Yes, a bit late posting this concert review, four months to be exact. But I love this band, so here is what I experienced live.

tate 2014
My daughter and I excited to see Airborne Toxic Event live

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this band live. It’s less than 9, which is how many times I’ve seen Depeche Mode live. But more than 5. This time was extra special as my daughter won tickets to the show, plus a pre-concert sound check and a meet and greet. I had already purchased tickets when they went on sale earlier in the summer. So we had extra tickets. This was also my wife’s first time seeing the band. [she didn’t get to go to the sound check or meet and greet]

Sound check

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The band going through a sound check for us hard core fans

We arrived early for the sound check, which was a good hour before the doors opened to the rest of the sold out crowd at The Depot. To see this band in a more intimate setting than the club itself was pretty damn cool. The sound check was only 5 songs, but enough to have some up front and close time with the band.

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Mikel up front

I would say that Mikel as a front man for Airborne Toxic Event is a perfect fit. His stage presence is incredible and for the sound check part of this night, he joked around with the small crowd in between songs.

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Steven Chen and Adrian Rodriguez during sound check

Steven is the lead guitarist and while he played well, he wasn’t as energetic during the sound check. Perhaps saving it up for the actually show. Adrian replaced Noah in late summer. I had never seen him before, which explains why for this show. This was his first time playing with the band live here in Salt Lake City.

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One last song “Hell and Back” during sound check

Mikel broke out “Hell and Back” which was part of the “Dallas Buyers Club” soundtrack and soon to be a part of the new album called “Dope Machines” [NOTE: now released as of this writing]. It’s a great sing along and even the sound check version of this song was pretty well worked for us.

Meet and Greet

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My daughter and I with the band – always love meeting them

After some pizza was delivered, the band had us all line up for the meet and greet and a photo op, using our own phones and cameras. I’ve met them before, as Mikel and Steven normally come out right after a show ends to shake hands with some of the up front fans. This time, we didn’t have to wait till the end of the show to meet and chat with them. My daughter got to show her tattoo to Mikel, who was very much impressed with it. I just got to tell him how I love their music and try not to act too awkward when talking with them.

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Ticket signed by all of the band members… sweet!

Each one of the band members signed something that people brought with them. I had my ticket ready for them. Always cool to not just meet the band and have your photo taken with them, but to have a signed ticket.

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Jon from local alternative radio station X96, interviews the band

At the end of the meet and greet, Jon Smith, from X96 96.3FM did a 10 min interview with the band, for all of us to watch while they recorded it for later play on the radio. Then we all were escorted out for the final preps done to the venue before we got to come back in for the concert.


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The band kicking ass live

The number of songs played live was pretty full. If you are a fan of the band and know the songs from their 3 studio albums, then you will know each one once it starts. “Sometime Around Midnight”, “Missy”, “Happiness is Overrated” – my favorite amongst all of their songs, “Wishing Well”, “Changing” and so many more. All executed so well live, without delving into too many extra bars or choruses.

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Anna and Mikel musically in sync on stage

And of course, a couple of new songs were played as well. The full version of “Hell and Back” was towards the end of the night. But earlier they played “Wrong” which is a new song that’s a bit different in song construction. A bit on the laid back side, a bit more seducing and slower than normal guitar-themed songs. I liked it and I’m sure once I hear it a dozen more times, it will catch on.

And then adding “Elizabeth” and “Bride and Groom” to the list, this was another stellar show by Airborne Toxic Event. Can’t wait until they return again to tour after their new album comes out.