Angels and Airwaves in Portland!!!


Saturday Evening, 28-Sept-2019

When Daniel and I started doing roadtrips, our album of choice was Phobia, by Breaking Benjamin. It’s a glorious album, very good for the long arching roads between Boston and Virginia.

A year or two later though, we found a new band – Angels and Airwaves. They lent themselves beautifully to the ~4 hour drives to and from the Loj, or the 2 hours to and from Rumney – From that initial discovery, I was hooked and listened to every album as soon as it was released.

When Angels and Airwaves released their movie, I immediately bought tickets… but I wasn’t able to make it. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what got in my way, but I know that I gave my tickets to Daniel, and was jealous of every second he got to spend in that theater.

Then, I heard about how we got to see them in concert back in Boston. He even got me a tee-shirt; absolutely amazing, but also horribly frustrating since I wanted to be the one rocking out in the front row.

Why wasn’t I rocking out in the front row? Why shouldn’t I? Portland was on the tour list, and I can afford to get tickets for Sarah and myself, so why shouldn’t we?

I bought tickets that evening.

Since it’d been ages since Sarah and I had been on a real “date night out”, we made an evening of it. We went to a restaurant called Montage; somewhere that Sarah highly recommended. Montage, a place which I assumed was a french place, for some unknown reason, and that I learned is actually a raucus cajun place. Subtle difference, you know? Once I recovered from the shock, it was amazing! Great food and great energy – absolutely a good way to prep and fuel up for an evening of rocking out with my favorite bands.

We went, we stood in line for exactly zero seconds, and then we walked into the venue and waited for the openers to come on.

What to say, what to say… The openers were good, but not really my jam. I just spent a solid 10 minutes trying to figure out their band names, but I can’t find them for the life of me. And that’s okay, because I didn’t go to see them. I went to see the band that came on after they left. I went to see Angels and Airwaves.

What we saw was exactly what I wanted, and nothing like what I expected.

When Daniel told me about seeing Angels and Airwaves, he mentioned that Tom (the lead singer) didn’t really talk much, and that he mostly just played – as if he knew that people had come for the music, and not for random rants.  Well, it turns out that Portland is different than Boston, and that Tom wanted to tell us stories.  A few of the standouts:

  • Note that, according to the merchandise guy that we spoke to afterward, most of these stories are completely made up.  Maybe it has something to do with those times that Tom walked backstage for a minute or two, and then came back seeming a little more energetic and happy?
  • He got into playing the guitar to “get the girl”, but when he asked her out she said that she was sick.  So, he took flowers over to her house… only to be greeted by her father, who said that the daughter was out with her friends. The father then asked Tom who the flowers were for… to which young Tom responded, “For you, sir!”
    Tom then proceeded to make out with, and then sleep with, the girls father.
  • A time when Tom and his bandmate were walking on the Oregon coast, and the bandmate convinced Tom to strip naked and run around in a dental-floss thong.
  • Less strange story – An east coast city brought dogs backstage.  He loved that.
  • He’s successfully convinced the Navy to declassify information about aliens, and that “you haven’t heard anything yet!”
  • Note: the above is true.  His non-profit group “To the Stars” has successfully worked with the Navy, and they’ve declassified a few examples of Navy pilots interacting with “Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon”, which is the new way to say UFOs.

Short version: Tom DeLonge is a strange man, at least when he’s in Portland.


Important version: I don’t care how strange he is, the concert was unbelievable and I am unimaginably happy that I got to see it!!!

The music was glorious – it was obviously different from the CDs that I have, but in a comfortingly familiar way.  It was the music I love, but just different enough for me to appreciate it in a new light.

The light show was amazing, even Sarah was impressed by it.  And coming from a theater / film background, it takes a lot to impress Sarah.

The flow and setlist were glorious, and everything flowed well together, even including Tom’s slightly tilted ramblings.  They played mostly Angels and Airwaves music, and a good mix of new and old songs at that.  But they also played some of the older Blink 182 songs, which was super cool.


Check out some pictures, and buy tickets the next time they’re in town.

Comments are closed.