ngels and Airwaves was created by Tom Delonge in 2005 after breaking up with Blink-182. This was a heart-wrenching moment for many Blink fans but as time passed it became apparent that Delonge had a wide range of creativity that couldn't be contained by the all-star punk rock band. Although there have been many rumors about the tumultuous relationship between the Blink band members, Tom gave clarity to the situation at Chicago's House of Blues in late September on AVA's reunion tour. He said that he will always love Blink-182 but acknowledged that he was the type of person that constantly seeks out something different and eventually needed the creative space to do more. This initial independence resulted in five albums worth of music for Angels and Airwaves, which allowed Tom to explore a more emotional, melodic style of creation that was only touched upon by Blink. Despite the success received by AVA, Tom wasn't done exploring. Nowadays Delonge shuffles between AVA's reunion tour and being the Chairman of the Board of To The Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences, a company that he co-founded to explore the unexplained mysteries of the universe.

Tom's new company has him rubbing shoulders with ex-members of the CIA, DOD and NASA but he still found the time to make a reunion tour with Angels and Airwaves because, according to him, it's all connected. After opening sets from The Charming Liars and Ilan Rubin's The New Regime there was a potent energy in the air, a thick anticipation that everyone could feel. A fan in a Boomer outfit, harking back to those old Blink-182 music videos, stood patiently in the front row with a blonde wig and mustache hoping Tom will notice him, which he later did. As Delonge took the stage, childhood memories flooded the minds of attendees and wide smiles were the only visible countenances in the crowd. Tom's energy filled the room but his face was partly blocked by a Ford hat that shielded him from the swarm of photographers seeking the perfect shot.

It was an incredible sight to see the faces of fans light up as songs like 'It Hurts', 'The Adventure' or 'Anomaly' were played. Fans were also beside themselves as Tom played acoustic versions of 'There Is', 'I Miss You, and 'Aliens Exist'. The crowd sang every note. It goes to show how integrated AVA and Tom's voice have become in our millennial lives, they have become an audible reminder of the past. Tom paused for a moment during the show to acknowledge the beautiful experience of listening to music together and how it connects us all in that moment. This was one of many interludes, the majority of which Tom used to explain the new avenues of his life, but he also took some time for his iconic impromptu comedy routines. In between underwear jokes and AVA tracks, Tom began to philosophize about big questions like why we are here and the possibilities of life on other planets. Although many fans won't take Tom's belief in aliens seriously, his company is doing very serious research that is being recognized around the world but regardless, they cannot deny the power of his message which calls for the spreading of love and compassion for everyone. There were shushes in the audience as Tom eloquently told the audience that 'if you really want to do something all you have to do is try'. For anyone seeking more information about Tom's new adventures with To the Stars, his interview with Joe Rogan is highly recommended! The Angels and Airwaves tour continues until early October but will start up again in December with another date in Chicago!

Photos by
Pedro Acosta