Concert Review: In The Valley Below, The Airborne Toxic Event, October 8, 9:30 Club


Experimental instrumentals, catchy beats, and strong vocals made up the theme for last night’s show at my DC-institution: the 9:30 Club. In The Valley Below opened the show with a subtly energetic* set that got the multi-generational audience pumped for a night of great music ahead. The LA group pairs upbeat tempos with rather dreamy trance-like lyrics that make for several strong tracks, including “Neverminders” and (my favorite) “Hymnal.”

The Airborne Toxic Event took the stage next. The band got the crowd singing along even before taking the stage by playing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody to warm up the concert-goers. Then, to dramatic lighting and a giant white dove (or eagle? definitely a bird) on the backdrop, the band (also hailing from LA) stormed the stage. The group showed up all wearing white shirts, with long-haired bass-player Adrian Rodriguez looking mad chic in all-white from head to toe (which he got a razzing about from his bandmates). The band was extremely enjoyable and charismatic, thanking DC profusely and reminiscing about their early days playing to neighbors’ cats and suffering from the hazing of unhappy neighbors. TATE played several of my favorites, including “Changing” and “Sometime Around Midnight,” as well as some new tracks. Their new song “Wrong” was one I particularly liked.

The LA-duo’s tour continues throughout Canada and the US through early November. Definitely look them up.

*Subtly energetic. I just want to acknowledge that if I was reading that turn of phrase my gut reaction would be: “That makes no sense. These hipster writers will say anything they think sounds artsy. Not OK.” Just for the record.

Posted on by halley in Concerts