February 1, 2008
Better Than: The 2008 Democratic Nomination Debate, and with way more dancing.
Between Tom Delong's experiment in musical happiness, Angels and Airwaves, and the cuties in Meg & Dia, the Dallas rock scene saw enough on-stage prancing to set back the metal movement a good decade.
“It’s easy to be a rock band and dress in black, and sing about being sad,” Delong said to the packed house. “But it’s fucking hard to get up here and play music that just makes you happy.”
Angels and Airwaves kicked it off with “A Call to Arms,” then zigzagged through old tunes, new tunes, a few Blink softies and one crappy track from Dude Ranch. The band closed it down with “Valkyrie Missile,” after explaining the group's mission to try to live a life of constant happiness. The crowd drank it up, and maybe it was his pirouettes across the stage or his intermittent giggling, but Delong appeared to be having a great time.
Though the tunes were catchy with a very U2 sort of grandeur, all the happiness in the world can’t get wobbly vocals to soar. The fans didn’t seem to mind, but no one could deny that the live vox trophy for the evening had to go to Meg & Dia.
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From the first strains of “Monster” to the end of the ladies' other hit “Roses,” Dia and Meg both had poised and professional voices that easily earned this crew of indie-sheik darlings its main support slot. And, yes, this band did a little dancing as well; however, the members didn’t do quite enough. They looked a little under confident in their stage presence for the first few songs, but finally cut loose during a sassy Sublime cover. By the time the band hit the first chorus of “Roses,” they had tapped into some good energy. Sadly, that was the last song. -- Dustin Aguilar
Critic's Notebook Personal Bias: I’ve had a crush on Delong for a long time, and a real big set of crushes on Meg and Dia (ever since I read a handful of their blogs online).
Random Detail: Every band except Meg & Dia was a spin-off. Ace Enders from The Early Novembers, The Color Fred from Taking Back Sunday, Angels and Airwaves from Blink 182.
By the Way: Dallas was stop three on this tour, and they’re taking the whole circus to Austin tonight and Houston on the February 3.