by Erin Holland
Like many neophytes of the AWOLnation-Nation, I had my first taste of this eclectic band after stumbling upon the single “Sail” on Facebook. Not knowing what to expect, I was blown away by the dark, synthey, bluesy, soul-baring electronica that proceeded to boom out of my computer speakers.
I was immediately hooked.
The internet and social media have forever changed the way people go about their daily lives, and finding new and exciting music is certainly no exception to this. As more people grow tired of the manufactured pop/rap sound injected into the radio waves that permeate our lives, the internet has become the perfect antidote to the same-old-music formula poisoning our ears everywhere we go. What AWOLnation brings to the table is a sound unlike anything many of us have ever heard — a multifaceted blend of the many musical genres so many of us have come to love and appreciate as we expand our musical horizons. It is, essentially, a sound tailor-made for the first generation told en-masse that there was something wrong with them. They were too hyper, too unfocused. Too… indecisive. AWOLnation simply includes it all. In “Sail,” singer Aaron Bruno’s aching voice opines, “Maybe I’m a different breed / Maybe I’m not listening / Blame it on my A.D.D, baby.”
These words — emblazoned across the T shirts that were selling like hotcakes last night — were surely heard all the way down the street as a room jam-packed with fans adoringly screamed them along with Bruno while his band rocked the Rev Room to its foundation. The youthful, high-energy crowd excitedly sang along to every song, smiles blanketing almost every face in sight. With a set list that included something for everyone, from slower, soulful ballads to heart-thumping dance anthems, the crowd jumping up and down in unison, it’s hard to imagine that AWOLnation left a single unsatisfied soul in the building. Oh, did I forget to mention Bruno’s crowd-surfing? There was that little nugget of awesome, too.
In asking a few of the local high schoolers braving the front row with me how they had discovered the band, they all gave me the same answer: “The internet.” One elaborated how he wished more musicians would provide free musical content, as this is how he has discovered many of his new favorites. He noted, “It’s not that people don’t want to pay for good music, they just want to pay for music they already know they love,” and they do so when attending their shows. And from the looks of the Rev Room last night, they certainly held up their end of that bargain.
Some people seem to be confused about what kind of band AWOLnation is. What is their genre? What is their style? What is the feel of their music? Well, the answer is really that there is no answer. It’s a little bit of everything. It’s something for everyone.
You might call AWOLnation “the A.D.D Band for the A.D.D Generation.” But to me, they mean so much more. The music industry is changing, baby. And with it, the world.
More photos after the jump.