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Burning Airlines
Live @ The Empty Bottle; Chicago, IL
By August Forte, St@tic
(more articles from this author)
2001-09-04
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With DeSoto label mates Shiner and Barcelona's Aina in tow, DC-based melodic punks Burning Airlines tore through an incendiary set of material from the newly released Identikit before a capacity crowd.

Started as a side project by Jawbox mainstays J Robbins (guitar) and Bill Barbot (bass) as that band was dawning, Burning Airlines made its recorded debut with 1999's celebrated Mission: Control!, which also featured the powerful drumming of Peter Moffett, whom Robbins had played with in the legendary Government Issue. With this line-up, Burning Airlines not only retained the core Jawbox following, but hooked a younger generation of fans who had been cutting their teeth to groups like The Promise Ring and The Dismemberment Plan.

That younger generation was out en masse for the show and openly supportive of Barbot's recent replacement Mike Harbin, as well the addition of multi-instrumentalist Ben Pape, and the band's new musical direction, which marries machine gun guitar and a heavier emphasis on bass to sharply stated four part vocal interplay.

From the opening strains of Pape and Robbins' twin guitar work and whispers to "Kiss the Ground" through the poetic "Paper Crown," the band held the crowd enraptured. Wings on fire, Burning Airlines soared mightily.


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