screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

The Airborne Toxic Event, The Henry Clay People & Red Cortez @ the Trocadero 10/10/09

by Becky Simmers, guest blogger

The opening bands, Red Cortez and The Henry Clay People, were charismatic and amusing, as well as absurdly talented – soon to be headlining many of their own shows individually, I’m sure. The antics, the mishaps, the silly yet driving force behind both opening sets…what a way to start off a night. Those two bands alone would have made for a great concert-going experience, giving me two new bands I can’t get enough of. I should have expected excellent taste in music from The Airborne Toxic Event…

Red Cortez - photo by Becky Simmers

Red Cortez - photo by Becky Simmers

The Airborne Toxic Event came on. Airborne…the band I’ve been waiting to see live since I caught strains of them on, the station that actually sponsored this show…The band whose CD didn’t leave my CD player for six months after I bought it, because I couldn’t tear myself away from the layers in their music and the depth of emotion expressed in the lyrics, as well as the unique timbre of Mikel’s voice and Anna’s vocals. The band who actually produced the soundtrack to my 2009, who captured the pain that I felt during my depression, as well as inched me out of that very depression with the hope found in so many of their lyrics. The band whose lyrics and music are drenched in beauty, in substance, in harsh but eloquent reality…my favorite band.

photo by Becky Simmers

photo by Becky Simmers

I expected a great show. I expected fantastic musicianship, heartfelt singing, and a clever Mikel at the microphone. But I didn’t expect what I got on the 10th of October, 2009.

I didn’t expect to be moved to tears by Mikel’s voice…by the words that he had felt, then penned, then sang for us, for himself.

I didn’t expect to be caught up in Anna’s music, or her vocals, or even the way she moved so freely and passionately to the songs.


photo by Becky Simmers

I didn’t think that the very sight of these musicians whom I admire most would pull my breath from my lungs and leave me gasping and euphoric. I had no idea that this concert would be an emotional, as well as spiritual, experience in addition to a visual and auditory high.

But I was, and it did, and it was. I was shaking. I was crying. I was absolutely caught up in the feelings behind each song. I wasn’t even able to sing along, for fear that it would taint the beauty emanating from that stage. But I mouthed the words, and I took pictures, and I let my tears flow and my breath catch, and I tried to remember every detail of my first time seeing this band, these soon-to-be-dubbed Legends, these humble masters of musical communication.

photo by Becky Simmers

photo by Becky Simmers

What a great show. I can’t wait to see them again. I wish everyone I know and love, and even those I don’t know or care for, had been present and could have been swept away by the breathtaking art that The Airborne Toxic Event creates.

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1 Comment

  1. Dan

    Excellent review by a discerning music connoisseur; take everything to heart from this review. This had to be an awesome show!

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