And it starts sometime around 9:15pm (ish) or at least that's when the lights dim in the very intimate basement stage at The House of Blues San Diego and the five members of The Airborne Toxic Event take to the stage...
The show is part of ATE's current tour promoting their new album entitled Dope Machines, where they played the album in its entirety and in one whole set. As an added bonus, they played a few of their hits to polish of the show with a bang.
This band has a very energetic stage presence and engages the audience every step of the way, which makes their shows something special on an individual level and has (and continues to) create lifelong fans of their music. Even the way that Mikel Jollett, the bands lead vocalist, handles obnoxious hecklers is done with a sort of pleasant gracefulness that is both polite and mildly entertaining (almost as if it's part of the show).
After the first set, there was a bit of a pause and a shuffle on stage and that's when they started playing their hits. To say that the crowd went wild would be an understatement. It was more like a wiley house party where everyone knew each other and sang along, in unison with their drinks in hand. There is something to be said about these sort of intimate venues, watching and participating with the music of one of your favorite bands. I would describe the feeling as communal and maybe even a little spiritual and this particular show fit that criteria quite nicely.