Angels & Airwaves homecoming show at SOMA San Diego

Angels & Airwaves packed the house at SOMA San Diego on November 7th, marking an epic conclusion to the Lifeforms 2021 Tour. Some could consider this a full-circle moment for frontman and guitarist Tom DeLonge, after debuting his new band “Blink” at 18-years-old at SOMA San Diego in 1993. (Soon, the band changed their name to Blink-182 due to copyright issues). Although a lot has changed for Tom DeLonge and his musical endeavors, he has always remained true to himself and his southern California roots. Even though Tom glorifies himself a frontman and leader of the group, Angels & Airwaves pulls everyone in the group together to create mind-altering space-chasing moments in music. The show was light, heavy and ultimately an unforgettable experience shared between the band and a crowd of 2000+ people.

Awesome performances from 1990nowhere and Bad Suns to a full room of eager concertgoers made for a well-rounded night of music. 

Energetic opener 1990nowhere is a collaboration project between Lostboycrow & Olivver the Kid: clearly an idea between two friends with creative minds and insanely fun stage presence. The two guys flipped back and forth between a variety of instruments, delivering a performance to get the crowd riled up and even a crowd-surfer during their last hit “Picasso”. This project is something to be on the lookout for… with actual hearts left on the stage in the form of guitar solos on the floor and swinging guitar moves I haven’t seen in ages! After their highly energetic six-song set, they bid their farewell, offering themselves at the merch booth for hangs as the stage was reset for Bad Suns. 

When Bad Suns took the stage, they immediately jumped into their popular jam “Daft Pretty Boys”, delivering their well-known high energy. Lead singer Christo Bowman varied between smashing guitar solos mid-stage or skillfully rocking the mic to the melodic vocals. Most of the band also comes from southern California, so the show was also an important homecoming show for the guys (Ray Libby on guitar, Gavin Bennett on bass/keyboard piano and Miles Morris on drums). Other amazing hits performed included “A Place In My Head”, “Baby Blue Shades” and “Unstable”. Before leaving the stage, they announced a new album and headlining tour is in the works! We’ll be sure to be on the lookout for these — they’re not something to miss! Soon, they left the stage and the reset for our headliner began. The crowd’s anticipation was felt throughout the room.

When the room went dark to signal the start of the set, the room packed with San Diego’s biggest Angels & Airwaves fans lost it.

This will be their first show back in town since we covered their House of Blues show in October 2019. After a dramatic light tease, which is something to be expected of jokester Tom DeLonge, the guys all run out together signifying unity as a band. The crowd gives no hesitation in diving right into “Kiss & Tell” with the band. In addition to sounding absolutely incredible, Angels & Airwaves delivered a unique, funny, yet dramatic, ultimately entertaining energy with each song. Old favorites that got the guys on the charts like “Everything’s Magic” and “Rite of Spring”, as well as their first-ever hit “The Adventure”, blended perfectly with newer hits “The Wolfpack” and “Euphoria”. You know a band really leaves its mark when the crowd represents an extremely diverse group from all walks of life, from kids and their parents to older couples on a date to teenagers with friends in the pit singing every lyric throughout. The audience stood with DeLonge as he expressed the unfortunate story behind the band’s latest Dreamwalker EP: the loss of his father led him and drummer Ilan Rubin to write “Tunnels” before, during and after the loss. It was a strong moment the crowd respected, absorbed and clapped in unison as the band played “Tunnels”. Finally, DeLonge gave a huge nod to longtime bandmate Mark Hoppus, who recently survived a battle with cancer. DeLonge announced “This song is for Mark and it’s about the time when I started the band Blink-182 from Poway, California” and then signaled for the start of “Rite of Spring”.

All around, the night was a touching experience that I don’t think anybody in the room will ever forget. Ending with the hit “Heaven”, almost signaling he didn’t want to leave the stage, unfortunately didn’t lead to an encore although it was well called for. The energy in the audience was still uplifted, happy… almost like they had been to church. It was a great night from all three bands, bringing some musical release in these weird times. Don’t miss out on Angels & Airwaves’ Dreamwalker EP, out now!

Photography by Franny Kovacs

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