Friday, June 21, 2013

Summerstage Goes "Airborne" at Central Park

Following the recent release of their third studio album, "The Airborne Toxic Event" was churning out nothing but addictive music at their recent Summerstage* show in Central Park. If you like bands like "The National" and "Stars," then you'll love these indie darlings whose beautiful, haunting ballads can't help but captivate you.

"The Airborne Toxic Event" plays Summerstage at Central Park
Photo by Heather-Ann Schaeffner**
With a versatile array of instruments, including incorporating the Calder Quartet into many of their live shows, "The Airborne Toxic Event" mixes just the right amount of tranquility and edginess to create a unique sound for their audiences. Tuesday's show began with a slower, more mellow rock repertoire, gradually working up to faster paced jams, and the fans were loving it. This marked the group's 869th show as a rock band, lead singer Mikel Jollet explained as he introduced the song "The Storm," written about living life on the road. "The Storm" debuted last month on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," as "The Airborne Toxic Event" was promoting their latest album, "Such Hot Blood."

Anna Bulbrook on viola
Photo by Heather-Ann Schaeffner 
"The Airborne Toxic Event" will be taking to the festival circuit this summer, and if you're wondering which band they might be, just look out for the best looking band you've ever seen close up, ever. Also keep an eye out for Anna Bulbrook, whose viola skills are prominently featured in many of the band's songs.

Though "The Airborne Toxic Event" has rarely a song that exceeds three minutes long, each song says so much. Listen to Jollet sing, and with his charming stage presence and charisma, you'll be sure he's singing directly to you. Some fan favorites that were raved about at Summerstage included "Sometime Around Midnight," from the band's eponymous first album, and the sing-songy "Timeless" from "Such Hot Blood." Drum, guitar, violin, and especially bass solos were highlighted, as Jollet noted there are just not enough bass solos in modern music.

Noah Harmon on the upright bass
Photo by Heather-Ann Schaeffner

The Summerstage show ended with "The Airborne Toxic Event" performing seemingly impromptu covers of
classics from Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springstein, bringing their wannabe Americana-style home full circle. "The Airborne Toxic Event" is making waves in the indie rock community and the small splashes they've achieved over the last few years are sure to only continue to propel them into stardom in coming years.

*"Summerstage" is a three month long festival that brings free cultural events to parks in every borough of New York City.  There is something for everyone whether your interest is dance, opera, theater, music or family events.  See the full calendar of events for more information. 

**See Heather-Ann Schaeffner's full photo reel from the show here.

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