The Airborne Toxic Event: All I Ever Wanted: Live from the Walt Disney Concert Hall

Note: This is a review of the 90-minute documentary film only. At press time, we did not have access to the CD or the DVD of the entire show. Though we hope to, soon.

It’s still baffling to us that Pitchfork would go so far out of their way to bash a band like the Airborne Toxic Event – they gave the band’s eponymous debut album, which we loved, a scathing 1.6 on their 10-point scale – and after watching “All I Ever Wanted: Live from the Walt Disney Concert Hall,” the insult seems twice as offensive. They seem like geniunely good, extremely gracious people, and the way they got the community involved in their landmark show was deeply touching. A local high school band plays on “Does This Mean You’re Moving On?” and a raucous cover of the Ramones’ “Do You Remember Rock ‘n Roll Radio?,” while a school girl’s choir jumps in for a rousing, kitchen-sink version of “Missy.” The band sounds great – the high school band misses a few notes, but hey, they’re kids – and they look like they’re having the time of their lives both performing and recording this show.

If there is one problem with the movie, it’s that it goes for long stretches without any music, and when they do include music, they opt for a cover version (the Ramones, Magnetic Fields, Q Lazzarus) as often as they show them playing one of their own songs. The covers are cute, but the movie could have used more original material. The set includes a separate DVD of the entire show, of course, but if we’re having our music documented for all eternity, we’re going to make sure the majority of the footage consists of original material, not someone else’s. But then again, that’s a very Mikel Jollett thing to do, favoring someone else’s songs over his own. (Island 2010)

Airborne Toxic Event MySpace page
Click to buy All I Ever Wanted from Amazon