SAN FRANCISCO — In the midst of his relentless search for UFOs, Tom Delonge brought his band Angels & Airwaves to The Warfield on Tuesday. Besides delivering songs and energy, he told stories and jokes about his old band, Blink-182.
While Delonge has not left his California pop-punk influences, his search for new sounds and perhaps creative processes have motivated him to give a more solid character to Angels & Airwaves. With the help of guitarist David Kennedy (also in Box Car Racer, Delonge’s side project) and drummer Ilan Rubin, he took fans to outer space. on Monday.
Angels & Airwaves took to the stage during intro song, “Diary” and opened with “Surrender,” from 2011’s LOVE: Part II, “It Hurts,” from 2006 debut We Don’t Need to Whisper; and “Everything’s Magic,” from 2007’s I-Empire. After “Paralyzed,” off 2014’s The Dream Walker, it was time for Delonge to make space for his soliloquies. The first of these was about people’s internal frequencies. The band continued its set with two cuts from LOVE: Part II: “Moon as My Witness” and “Anxiety.”
Angels & Airwaves continued with “Kiss With a Spell,” from The Dream Walker, which flowed directly into a drum solo by Rubin. Everything went dark after that, and the band returned to play 2019 single “Rebel Girl,” with Delonge dancing to the song’s rock vibe.
The band handled “The Adventure,” from We Don’t Need to Whisper, as part of an acoustic section of the set. Delonge told some stories about spiders and the redwood forest north of the Bay, and how “Anomaly” from The Dream Walker relates to that. Other stories included that of how Blink-182 was never supposed to be a huge band.
He then asked for some whiskey before playing part of Blink-182 cut “I Miss You.”
Delonge talked about To the Stars Academy of Arts & Science, which he founded, and how it helped him to get meetings with the U.S. the government, including the CIA. “Aliens Exist” followed the speech, but his voice seemed to be pretty raw at that point, so the crowd took over and sang it for him.
For the last part of the set, Angels & Airwaves played “Young London” and “Breathe.” After a few minutes off stage, the band came back to perform an encore of earlier material: “Do It for Me Now” and “Heaven.”
Rubin’s solo project The New Regime preceded Angels & Airwaves with a set of indie rock songs blended with some modern synth sounds. The pure indie rock of “Say What You Will,” from 2013’s Exhibit A, contrasted with “A Way to Feel Again,” from 2019 EP Heart, which had a poppier electronic vibe.
London-via-L.A. band Charming Liars opened the concert with a blend of ethereal guitars, heavy alt-rock riffs and electronic beats. With the lush melodies provided by Kiliyan Maguire, the band showed an eclectic range on songs from 2019’s Thought, Flesh and Bone, including “Insomnia,” “Time to Start,” “Something Dark,” “Soul” and “Like a Drug.”
Follow photographer Joaquin Cabello at Instagram.com/joaquinxcabello.