screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

The Airborne Toxic Event w/the Calder Quartet & Special Guests at the Walt Disney Concert Hall ~ Friday, December 4, 2009

by Henry Ruiz, guest blogger


The Show opened up with the Calder Quartet walking the stage with loads of applause. They were followed 2 minutes later by Anna (she had a beautiful dress on, she looked absolutely amazing), Steven, Daren and Noah. The play some beautiful instrumental before the spotlight shines upon on Mikel at the organ and the move into Wishing Well. Omg I swear I was getting choked up because the venue was so beautiful and to see them get to this point and do SO SO SO SO well was amazing.

Next song I believe was “Book Of Love”. Before the song begins Mikel talks to the crowd for a bit, “Yeah this next song is dedicated to my Grandma, she passed a week ago and she really wanted to be here. I remember being at her bedside and she asked me to play her a song “Oh Mikel, Play me a song, but none of that Airborne stuff, it’s too loud”, *he smiles and laughs a bit as does the audience* So I played her ‘Book Of Love’ and here it is….this is for you Grandma….”

The song ends with applause all around. They bring up the first special guest, I forget the guy’s name but he came out with an accordion and he plays ‘Something New’ with Airborne. It was AMAZING! The sound was so unique and different. Loved it.
The next song is Happiness, I had to use the restroom at this point so I didn’t see this performance. I couldn’t go back in till the song was finished so I watched from a television in the lobby. As soon as the song was finished it was intermission…yes intermission.

During intermission Airborne had some local Mexican culture music perform such as a ‘Mariachi Alama del Sol’, They were a young Mariachi group, they also had the traditional Mexican dancing performed by ‘Plaza de la Raza’s Student Folklorico Ensemble’. It was so beautiful to see not only because I come from a Mexican background but also because Mikel brought all this Mexican culture to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Intermission ends and Airborne comes back on stage from the audience with the ‘Belmont High School Marching Band’! It starts off sounding like a high school football game then they ALL break into ‘Moving On’! It was so amazing I LOVED it! They played another NEW song I forgot the name of it but it is definitely going to be on the new album. [according to a review by Chick Rawker, this was “Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio?” by the Ramones.]

Gasoline is next with the Marching Band still behind them. It was so awesome, only a few of us huge Airborne fans actually were standing up and rocking out the whole time. I think ‘This Losing’ was next followed by ‘Goodbye Horses’.

I remember at one point during the show Mikel goes up to Noah smiling and shakes his head as if to say “What the f*ck are we doing here?”. I was truly happy for them when I saw that.

‘All I Ever Wanted’ was the next song to be performed at this amazing venue. Followed by ‘Midnight’. I loved how the crowd grew silent during some songs, it made the songs that much more beautiful, if that makes any sense? [indeed it does. finally, respectful silence – what a wonderful thing!]

‘Innocence’ was a tear jerker for sure. From the opening lyrics, “I wanna disappear, I just sleep all day….” The audience was absolutely silent during the intro of this song. It was as if everybody was in some kind of ‘Moment’ as if we were all thinking/feeling the same way. It’s going to look/sound great on dvd, I can’t wait to buy it.

The song ends, the band walks off the stage as they always do. Mikel is the first one to come back on stage, he brings along with him eight little girls from the ‘Lalo Guerrero School Of Music at Art in the Park Children’s Choir’. It’s just Mikel with a acoustic guitar and the little girls behind them. “Thank you all so very much for joining us on the special night, it really means a lot that you’re here with us, this night is really important to us. We’ve been touring for the past two years and I guess we’re all going to go back home now and work on that second record….”

‘Missy’!!! Mikel sings the first verse of Missy by himself with the little girls singing softly and beautifully behind him. Anna, Daren, Noah and Steven come back out onstage after Mikel finishes that first verse. They invite everybody that performed with them on stage, The Mariachi group and The Belmont High Marching Band.

It was truly an epic night.

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  1. Julie,
    Thanks so much for posting this and Henry, for writing it. Would have absolutely loved to have been there.
    I’m so excited for a new recording that I can hardly stand it.
    Wishing you a wonderful Holiday, Julie : )

  2. tammy

    Henry, great job on this! It was indeed an epic night. Everything sounded new and different and the band seemed so excited to be there sharing it with us. The sound quality was amazing – we could really hear how beautiful Mikel’s voice is (and Anna’s too). I love that you were choked up because I was feeling that way too. awesome.

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