Toxic Embrace

Although the band is based in Los Angeles, the Airborne Toxic Event has a special place in its heart for Denver. “On our first tour, we played a sold-out show for 1,600 people at the Ogden, and the night before, we were in Salt Lake City and played for 200,” remembers frontman Mikel Jollett. “We don’t quite understand why Denver has embraced us so much, but it has.” Part of the reason for Denver’s love could be the band’s penchant for playing unconventional shows, and tonight’s date with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra should be particularly memorable. ATE will release its second full-length this year, and several of the songs from that album will make their debut tonight.

Jollett, who started out as a writer before deciding to put his words to music, thinks that working with an orchestra presents a unique challenge — and opportunity — for a songwriter, because there’s so much to consider. “There’s something about a really big string section that’s evocative of something you’re just not going to get out of a banjo and an electric guitar,” he explains.

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Tickets range from $24 to $90; for more information, go to
Sat., Jan. 22, 2011

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Kiernan Maletsky is Westword's music editor. His writing has appeared in alt-weeklies around the country as well as Miley Cyrus's mom's Twitter feed.
Contact: Kiernan Maletsky