I caught my second Angels and Airwaves (AVA) show at the Palladium in Dallas, Texas on May 20. This show came a little over a month since I saw AVA at the Uptown in Kansas City. The shows ended up being completely different experiences.
I skipped the opening band, Say Anything, since I was not impressed with them in Kansas City. I came into the Palladium about ten minutes before AVA began their set. I asked a couple of attendants before entering how to get to the second level. They were a bit confused by my question since there was no second level. The Palladium has what I would describe as a warehouse feel to it. It’s basically all one level with only a raised area at the back half of the venue up just a few feet from the ground. The stage is comes out into the venue so you can literally walk up to the side of the stage. I initially started at the back of the pit, but got really tired of standing on the tip of my toes and having heads in my way even after moving to different areas twice. I saw some people standing at the front of the raised area with room on both sides for more people. I went up there and of course they have the whole front section roped off for VIP. I hate that. It was barely filled and it just made my view about 20 feet or more back from where I wanted to be. People were just more chatty during the set than I thought was appropriate. My videos have a background noise of people just chatting away. I don’t get it. If I payed $30 to see a band, I want to get my money’s worth and actually listen. I understand if it is an opening band.
Enough about the Palladium. AVA’s set list was exactly the same as Kansas City’s show: “Et Ducit Mundum Per Luce, It Hurts, Young London, Hallucinations, Everything’s Magic, Lifeline, Shove, Start the Machine, The Adventure, The Flight of Apollo, The Moon Atomic, Epic Holiday, Secret Crowds, Breathe, and The War.” I was excited to see AVA again because of the energy that I felt during the KC show, and I was looking forward to seeing “Secret Crowds” performed again which was the highlight of the KC show for me. It was obvious that Tom Delonge was not at his best for the show. The vocals on some of the songs were weak, even bad. He mentioned during his mid-concert speech to the crowd that he was tired until he came out on stage and saw how the audience was reacting. I think he was tired and considering this was near the end of the tour, it was justified. The other band members, David Kennedy, Adam Willard, and Matt Wachter, all were on par with the KC show. “Secret Crowds” was lackluster and the bass drums on “The Moon Atomic” livened that song up since Delonge’s vocals were probably the worst on that song. The introduction of the band was still before the last song of the set, so I guess that was planned that way.
One welcome addition were the signs on the doors to the Palladium warning that strobe lights were being used. Those signs would have been great at the Uptown. The lighting bothered me at the Palladium, maybe because I was now at eye line with the stage. The balcony is the way to go for this tour if the venue has one.
Altogether, I would recommend seeing AVA earlier in their next tour if possible. The energy of the crowd and the band was much better. I still love AVA, but this concert fell short of where it should have been.
I give Angels and Airwaves at the Palladium 3 “Angel Wings” out of 5