Snowballs, ‘Secret Crowds’ and laser goggles: An evening with Angels and Airwaves

On the last day of Angels and Airwaves‘ tour, they took a little time pre-show to talk with Buzznet! We got situated downstairs at Los Angeles’ Wiltern LG while they sound-checked, and then they straggled in one by one, but we waited on Tom DeLonge for a bit.

I was hella nervous, so the only way I could think of to break the proverbial ice before Tom arrived was to ask, “Is it really, really noticeable that I have a fat lip right now?” (I got a new piercing about a week earlier.) Instead of them just being like “yes” or “no,” they launched into this whole conversation about piercings. And then Tom came along, and instead of starting the interview, they continued talking about my lip ring and roped Tom into it. (“Look at her lip, look at her lip!” bassist Matt Wachter tattled to Tom.)

And Tom went, “Oh, it’s infected, huh?” I said no, just swoll– “it’s infected” cut me off. Herpes, he said. Gonorrhea, he said. Diseased! He said. Then he smiled. So the interview hadn’t even started, and I was laughing and flustered (we know how that can turn out.) There was more teasing, after which Tom finally went, “Oh, hey, did you have questions? Did you want to do this interview?”

The show was awesome! The Wiltern was packed and the frat bros were INTO it (is that what the scrawny Blink-182 punks of yesteryear have grown into?). The best part? The LASER LIGHT SHOW! NY and LA were the only two tour dates to witness this pricey ($25k) display. I’m now convinced that every band should have a laser light show, and don laser goggles for a song or two. OK, not really — but it did suit AVAs’ performance style. And completely distracted me from paying attention to the set list, but I do know they tossed in one Box Car Racer song, and “Reckless Abandon” from Blink’s Take Off Your Pants and Jacket.

I’m not sure my appreciation for Angels & Airwaves as a band is organic. I grew up with Blink-182, so there is something very familiar and comforting about Tom DeLonge’s vocals. And I know there’s been a lot said about the band’s “larger than life” attitude, but you know what? They believe in the music they’re making and if they want to radiate positive energy out onto their audiences, I say more power to them. After all, they can still make inappropriate jokes with the best of them.

(A+ for attention. Look at them all listening intently.)

Watch their video for “Secret Crowds,” then check out the making of it here.Some snaps of the guys during the interview are here.