Angels in Heaven (at The Masquerade)

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Written & Photographed by Everett Zuraw

The Masquerade is a multi-tiered venue, consisting of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. Serving as another venue worth visiting as part of the greater live-music scene of the Peach State’s capital, it has operated at its’ new location since early 2017, having been active since 1988. Heaven is the largest of the three, followed by Hell and Purgatory.

Now located at Kenny’s Alley in The Underground, the music venue lives on as renovations from above continue to progress.

I travelled to Atlanta to experience the re-emergence of Angels & Airwaves, having last toured August of 2012. The nearly sold-out tour kicked off on September 4th in Phoenix, Arizona, marking Atlanta as the fourth night of the tour.

A&A is joined by special-guest, Charming Liars as the first opener of the night. 

Originally based out of London, England, Charming Liars currently resides in Los Angeles. Consisting of Kiliyan Maguire, Karin Manoukian, and Mike Kruger, the band started through the release of their EP “We Won’t Give Up” back in 2014. Following their first, the band has gone on to release “New Disorder” (2015), “Delete, Repeat” (2015), “12:31 AM” (2016), “Bare Bones” (2019), and their first full-length album “Thought, Flesh, and Bone” back on March 1st. 

The first song of the night was “Alive”, coming off of “Thought, Flesh and Bone”. Purple enveloped singer Kiliyan Maguire as he grabbed hold of the mic and sang while pulling the stand, as one would with a dancing partner. 

Following “Alive”, the set continued as follows…

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“Outta My Head” > “Ocean” > “Insomnia” > “Time To Start” > “Soul” > “Something Dark

Ending with “Like A Drug”, Maguire danced around the stage as he moved from one side to the next, mic in hand, washed in red and blue.

After listening to all of their works, I would recommend “Wasted” off their first EP. “Cruel” and “Eternal Youth” off of Delete, Repeat. “Burning Me Out” and “Pain From You” off of 12:31 AM. The acoustic version of “Insomnia” off of Bare Bones. And “Ocean”, “Running Away” and “Time To Start” off of Thought, Flesh and Bone.

The New Regime, fronted by Ilan Rubin of A&A and Nine Inch Nails, took to the stage to play the middle of the night.

Rubin mainly plays guitar in the live version of new regime, though he also supplies piano, bass, and other instruments through the recording phase at his home studio.

The New Regime’s first full-length album, Coup, was released in 2008. Rubin has gone on to release Remission of Guilt (2010), Speak Through The White Noise (2011), Exhibit A (2013), Exhibit B (2015), and Heart (2019). Mind is set to release later this year.

The live band consists of Ilan Rubin on Guitar, Kemble Walters on bass, and Rob Ketchem on drums.

Kicking off their set with “A Way To Feel Again” off of Heart.

“Turning a Blind Eye” > “Say What You Will” > “No Traces” > “You Can Be (Whoever You Want To Be)” > “We Rise, We Fall”

The middle of The New Regime’s set faded back into the purple, with moments where lights flashed and the neon sign behind the band glowed white, pink, blue, purple and green. At times, it pulsed out of sync to the beat of the drums. Ending with “Heart Mind Body and Soul”, the audience sang along.

I would recommend listening to the entirety of Coup, especially with the lead-in for the operatic opening song, “The Collapse”. Classical tones are seen strongly within the piano of “Time Erase”. “All These Changes” and “Take Control” are personal standouts from the album. 

Furthermore, I would recommend “Don’t Chase It” off of Exhibit A. Off of Exhibit B, I would say to check out “Where I’ve Headed All Along”, “Smokescreen”, and “The Longing”. The fifth track, “Mannequin”, utilizes the whistle, but returns a bit to the rock-format heard in Exhibit A. The final song, “Voices Calling”, is a haunting track with use of synth, ending with a piano-rift that echoes “Baba O’Riley” by The Who.

Off of Speak Through The White Noise, I would recommend “Pray For The Weak” and “The Skeptic”.

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After nearly 7 years of not being on tour, A&A took to the stage for their fourth night (on tour). Currently composed of Tom DeLonge, Ilan Rubin, and David Kennedy. The band is based in San Diego, California.

Their first album, We Don’t Need to Whisper (2006), was released after Delonge’s first split from Blink-182 in 2005. Following that, A&A has gone on to release We Don’t Need To Whisper (2006), I-Empire (2007), Love (2010), Love: Part Two (2011), and The Dream Walker (2014). Kicking off with “Surrender”, the audience roared from both floor and balcony sections.

“Overload” > “It Hurts” > “Everything’s Magic” > “Paralyzed” > “Moon as my witness” > “Anxiety” > “Wolf Pack” > “Kiss With a Spell” > “Rebel Girl” > “The Adventure” > ***“Anomaly” > ***“Tom Medley” > “Hallucinations” > “Young London” > “Breathe” > “Kiss and Tell” > “Do it for me Now” Closing out with “Heaven”, a song resonating strongly with the theme of exploration (physical and emotional) found throughout other works.

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During Anomaly, DeLonge played with Rubin as the lights stopped transitioning, staying a mix of orange and blue. Tom told a short story about climbing a Glacier, while Rubin strummed his guitar. They transitioned to playing a ‘love’ song, a few verses from “Rebel Girl”. DeLonge continued to play some acoustic songs as Rubin left the stage.

The audience prominently sang along to “Rebel Girl”, as lights blinked in and out from behind. Shining bright white to oranges and blues. Throughout the final few songs of the set, an increase in moshing and crowd surfing led to a constant wave of people being passed over the barricade (into the photo pit), and led back out into the general audience by security. I watched from the balcony as a fairly decent hole appeared in the floor audience, as a group ran around in circles to the beat of “Kiss & Tell”.

From their set list, “Everything’s Magic”, “The Adventure”, and “Young London” are highly recommended for any new listener to A&A. But throughout, the crowd cheered to the starting chords of the ‘hits’.

The tour continues through October 9th with a winter tour kicking off on December 4th.

Charming Liars

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The New Regime

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Angels & Airwaves

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Taylor Czerwinski