The Airborne Toxic Event at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
In London for one night only, The Airborne Toxic Event dazzle fans at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush in a 19-track set of hits and new material that span across their three popular albums: Such Hot Blood, All at Once and their self-titled debut.
The crowd grows restless with anticipation, and as the whistles become deafening, the band finally make their way onto the stage to open with the track All at Once. Anna Bulbrook builds tension on violin and gets the crowd revved up with her upbeat decant. The band initially seem subdued but as they find their stride, each time the refrain hits, there’s much more energy from lead singer, guitarist and keyboardist Mikel Jollett and electric bassist, upright bassist and backing vocalist Noah Harmon.
When the tune of their biggest hit starts to play, the hall starts to buzz and fans are screaming the verse “I am a gentlemen!” from Changing, and the whole band is clapping along to the beat, as excited as their audience.
Jollett and Harmon join Daren Taylor on drums for Moving On and the trio take on the crash cymbal, the snare and bass drum in unison, creating the most intense beat. As Harmon puts Bulbrook on his shoulders, the enthusiasm of the group is catching and the audience feeds off their energy, dancing along to the beat and acting as backing vocals to every classic.
As the group share their most recent material Hell and Back with Jolette on acoustic guitar, this number has a much more authentic feel, which is far less showy. Bulbrook on keys and Harmon on synth add an electric element to the song that gets the audience going again, humming along, as the lyrics aren’t yet memorised.
Covering iconic tunes like Something New, Midnight, Timeless and a mash-up that includes a faster more upbeat take on Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire, fans just couldn’t sit still through their exuberant encore.
Photos: Andrei Grosu
For further information on The Airborne Toxic Event and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Changing here: