Event Recap: AWOLNATION @ House of Blues San Diego [10/9]
Red Bull Records artist AWOLNATION performed at a sold out San Diego House of Blues this past week, and we were happy to be a part of such an incredible night thanks to the RedBullSD family. Headlining artist AWOLNATION injected a packed house that was already full of anticipation for their biggest San Diego performance yet with a raw energy and vibe that very few live performers showcase. Their recorded music knows no boundaries, ranging from pop-rock to grunge to echoes of Rage Against The Machine. Their live show exhibited these qualities in the flesh, making their performance an impressive amalgamation of rock styles and sounds that even ventured into the dance realm at points.
During the journey through AWOLNATION’s performance I found myself shifting energy levels and mindstates – standing and enjoying good music while in the next moment rocking out and headbanging. Paying attention to the vocal and pondering it’s meaning then in the next song not paying attention at all because the nonsensical screaming caused me to rage my face off. The experience was unique in that usually at a show or concert the setlist will reflect a rising journey, starting at ground level and ending in a grand climax. This performance by AWOLNATION broke off from norms such as this, instead choosing to step out of the box with their performance in the way that their music abandons ‘the box’.
Disregarding the proverbial ‘box’ is what makes artists like AWOLNATION and others special. It’s an artform in itself to be able to think outside the box. Translating those thoughts into recorded music is a higher form of art. But then translating those two artforms into a near perfect live performance is truly another form of art that not many, no matter how hard they try, can achieve. I’d heard the recordings of AWOLNATION on youtube, the singles on the radio, but there is something else present in the live performance that stood out. There was something deeper that wasn’t being said, it was simply being portrayed by everything they were about. Their music, their lyrics, their movements – it was in all these things.
It all came full circle near the end of the concert. Lead singer Aaron Bruno took a silent moment to look into the crowd. His piercing eyes seemingly penetrating every attendee while his recognizable voice reached down within himself to say something meaningful. He punctuated the moment by saying “Freedom” into the microphone and headwalking right onto the crowd who he knew would stick up their hands to support him, all while repeating “Freedom” a few more times. The moment was cloaked in symbolism, a realization that perhaps ‘Another Way Of Life’ and the abandoning the box is “freedom” in itself.
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