Start The Machine [DVD] review by Angels & Airwaves

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  • Released: Jun 17, 2008
  • Sound: 9
  • Content: 9
  • Production Quality: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (84 votes)
Angels & Airwaves: Start The Machine [DVD]
10

Sound — 9
Probably the most satisfying and unexpected part of Angels & Airwaves' new DVD Start The Machine is the show of humility from vocalist/guitarist Tom DeLonge. A few years back when the band released its debut album, you might recall DeLonge likened We Don't Need To Whisper to the second coming of Christ. By the time Start The Machine ends, however, it's obvious that DeLonge has a few regrets and it was merely his passion for the project that spurred the over-the-top (even if tongue-in-cheek) comments. Plenty of bands have released DVDs that deliver a solid live performance or a general biography, but Start The Machine gives an in-depth studio look at the making of We Don't Need To Whisper. Even if Angels & Airwaves' music doesn't click with you, the DVD still conveys something that every musician with a demo or full-length CD can relate to: frustration in getting the perfect sound. We Don't Need To Whisper was obviously DeLonge's baby and the DVD does clearly show him stewing away for hours on end over a riff or a lead. The other members aren't cut out of the spotlight, however, and each is given his own chapter dedicated to what they brought to the album. Musically, you get to watch as ideas like the U2-esque guitar parts of The Adventure take shape (which apparently was spawned when DeLonge decided to forgo a Foo Fighters' concert in order to continue working on material). Even more interesting is the involvement of the band's engineer, Critter, who developed several beats by recording random noises in the room (think file cabinets closing and jingling tool boxes). It all makes for a very interesting viewing experience, particularly if you're looking for a few tricks of the trade in the studio.

Content — 9
If you are hoping for some videos and/or live performances, there are a few concert clips (The Gift, The Adventure, and The War) included in the main feature. They are edited in with various band commentaries, so you'll have to wait for the bonus features for straight music. Along with more behind-the-scenes content, the bonus features includes 2 videos and 4 short films, which are essentially more dramatic music videos with some very cool imagery. It's actually the main feature's insight into the studio that ends up being the most original aspect about Start The Machine.

Production Quality — 10
Much like We Don't Need To Whisper (and the follow up, I-Empire), the DVD is slick and beautifully edited. The band seems to be throwing its heart into the world of multimedia, and it's both novel and smart. Visually, Start The Machine is extremely watchable and sets the bar high for production quality. It's also a bit of a preview to AVA's next big project, a feature film called I-Empire (a trailer for the film is featured).

Overall Impression — 9
Tom DeLonge has made a name for himself in the news over the years, and it's not always because of the most positive things (the controversial Blink 182 breakup, comparing his music to the second coming). This DVD could have been a bad move on paper, but DeLonge does himself (and his band) a great service by coming clean about his regrets, his relationship with former Blink 182 bandmates, and his vision for music in general. There's a passion in DeLonge that is very evident in Start The Machine, and that is something you don't always see in the flurry of rockers with I-don't-give-a-shit attitudes. You come out seeing that We Don't Need To Whisper was indeed a labor of love, and for those who were staunch supporters Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus, DeLonge's point of view is brought a little more out into the open.

49 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Regression
    I don't mind Angels & Airwaves, they have a few good songs, so I might get this. Tom seems to be putting alot of effort into it, more than you'd expect from many pop musicians. (pop rock, whatever)
    xxAUSTINxx
    al182 wrote: [x]Huffy[x] you're an idiot!! If you watched the DVD like the dude who gave the review then you'll see (like the dude who did the review) Tom is anything but up his own arse!! He's an awesome artist with some passion and more to give...your narrown opinion might well just change if you saw this, but i highly doubt it! Anyways, back to the DVD, am from England and i got it from loserkids in America, its all region DVD so will play on what ever and with the prive and postage the DVD came to about 12.50, so i wasnt too fussed in paying for that and i got mine on Monday...and its awesome, absolutley awesome. Iv stuck up for Tom throughout everything and am so gladwith the way its come out.
    I don't know. I gotta give Tom props for forming a succesful band, but I do think he's quite full of himself. He quit Blink to try and "reinvent" rock music, then he said he wants to go back to Blink after AvA is through. The problem I see with this is that Mark and Travis are probably pretty pissed that he left without a word and formed a band, then expects them to forgive him. I know that they are all being childish, but seriously, if Tom was they're friend, he would've given a reason and just said, I need a break. Instead, he wouldn't even talk to him, it was all said through the producer. Lame. He is full of himself, and I gotta say, his music hasn't been good since Blink.
    slate blank
    they didn't just make pop punk they made the best pop punk you can find. their sound really changed over time and many bands you don't see that happening to (i e sum 41, new found glory (up until coming home)).
    red157
    pickSlidin wrote:first off, red157: Great, you dislike angels and airwaves. that's your personal opinion. why you are on a webpage reviewing an angels and airwaves DVD, i have no clue. but no one here cares for you're rude and ignorant comments. leave them to yourself.
    You said it yourself, this is a review. It's not a Tom DeLonge fan site, or their last.fm page. It's on the front of a site I frequent. And as it's a review, surely it should be allowed negative criticism, unless UG has become a dictatorship where bands can pay to have only nice things said about certain groups. So grow the **** up.
    Crzy
    does anyone know when this is coming out in Canada in stores? cause i dont wanna buy it off loserkids
    [x]Huffy[x]
    banshee8831 wrote: some people so rude and selfish.if you leave tom delonge after he changed your lives with the songs he made then you are the best Damn FAn in the world.then tell me about dave mustaine.he left metallica and set up megadeth.now are people still hate him?hate from megaeth?no eventhough he left metallica they still love him.anyways this is like it.Tom's very regretful now so he wants the oldies come back. wish this becomes true and they reunite. and for the ones who don't like ava or tom please don'T type here never again.
    1. Don't tell me what to do, this is a review and I will leave a bad review if I wish to. 2. Dave Mustaine didn't leave Metallica, he was kicked out, and he's still pissed at Lars and James for it. Hesetup Megadeth as revenge. He said himself that the point of Megadeth was to outdo Metallica at everything.
    Antonio182
    Dave Mustaine was kick out of metallica dude...its different. any way AVA its really cool, wish them the best.
    The_MacAttack
    Ok let's look into this...Blink-182 was formed in 1992 and for over a decade, they had been the poster children to the childish ideals of being a teenager. Blink-182 was a awesome f***ing band and will go down as one of my all time favorites, but Tom made the right move by leaving his band. It was his creation and I understand that he felt trapped.He needed a new sound, a sound that had been bottled up inside him for years. Mark and Travis, sorry to say, are rather one dimensional when it come to music styles. +44's music isn't that much different from Blink-182's. What Tom created with AVA was nothing short of divine. This music is like God speaking. I wish I could describe more but put it this way...I'm not a huge fan of Tom's singing voice, but listen to the music. It f***ing moves you in a way that can't be described. What he created, it makes you want to believe in a change so epic and amazing, the walls of every American home would shake from the magnitude of it's sheer tenacity and magnanimous force. It truly is a force to be reckoned with and has the potential to be the greatest group of musicians ever. I didn't say rock band, I didn't say pop stars, I didn't say cultural icons. Group of musicians so loosely based and different, yet hanging on to the ideals and principles that makes for one hell of a chemistry explosion of music. That is explosion is We Don't Need To Whisper and I-Empire. F***ing A'. The MacAttack!
    seanamin
    AVA are incredible - Valkyrie Missile, Do It For Me Now, The Adventure, The War, The Gift, A Little's Enough, Good Day, Call To Arms, Love Like Rockets, Secret Crowds, SOB/True Love, Heaven - incredible, original, beautifully crafted songs!
    Shinsen88
    Good band, but you have to admit that they're way too pretentious for their own good.
    jumbojuicy
    I thought it was really good. i liked how it explained how blink 182 broke. i also thought it was cool how they showed the making of the adventure. I definitely recommend it to anyone who liked blink 182 or AVA.
    Skalor
    Those who hate Tom for leaving Blink get a 15-20min explanation (remember to check special features) as to why he left. You will realise, your inconsiderate and selfish if you STILL hold a grudge agaisn't him after hearing him out. I think some here who dislike AVA / Tom don't understand. The documentry shows and explains that Tom got a bit ahead of himself and you really see Tom realises it and deeply regrets. Farfaraway, as the REVIEWER explains, this documentry shows there's far more then just Tom to this band. UK Fans. You can buy this from Amazon UK, just search the DVD then buy it through the sellers. Its cheaper then Loserkids. Cost me 8 altogether
    pickSlidin
    red157 wrote: pickSlidin wrote:first off, red157: Great, you dislike angels and airwaves. that's your personal opinion. why you are on a webpage reviewing an angels and airwaves DVD, i have no clue. but no one here cares for you're rude and ignorant comments. leave them to yourself. You said it yourself, this is a review. It's not a Tom DeLonge fan site, or their last.fm page. It's on the front of a site I frequent. And as it's a review, surely it should be allowed negative criticism, unless UG has become a dictatorship where bands can pay to have only nice things said about certain groups. So grow the **** up.
    According to Merriam Websters dictionary, criticism is defined as "a serious examination and judgment of something." Your earlier comment basically stated that a comment left by a fellow UG member was stupid. I hate to break it to you be that is not criticism. I have nothing against negative criticism, but you just blatantly put down a fellow UG member. My point is, your comment had nothing to do with the review and was just plain rude. And apparently I'm the one that needs to grow up....
    al182
    xxAUSTINxx wrote: al182 wrote: [x]Huffy[x] you're an idiot!! If you watched the DVD like the dude who gave the review then you'll see (like the dude who did the review) Tom is anything but up his own arse!! He's an awesome artist with some passion and more to give...your narrown opinion might well just change if you saw this, but i highly doubt it! Anyways, back to the DVD, am from England and i got it from loserkids in America, its all region DVD so will play on what ever and with the prive and postage the DVD came to about 12.50, so i wasnt too fussed in paying for that and i got mine on Monday...and its awesome, absolutley awesome. Iv stuck up for Tom throughout everything and am so gladwith the way its come out. I don't know. I gotta give Tom props for forming a succesful band, but I do think he's quite full of himself. He quit Blink to try and "reinvent" rock music, then he said he wants to go back to Blink after AvA is through. The problem I see with this is that Mark and Travis are probably pretty pissed that he left without a word and formed a band, then expects them to forgive him. I know that they are all being childish, but seriously, if Tom was they're friend, he would've given a reason and just said, I need a break. Instead, he wouldn't even talk to him, it was all said through the producer. Lame. He is full of himself, and I gotta say, his music hasn't been good since Blink.
    xxAUSTINxx...you quite clearly havent read what i put properly nor have you seen this DVD or even read or listended to a comment ever made by Tom Delonge...if you had then you would realise 1. Tom is not going back to Blink, he has said that all along, he cant do it as he said "theres so much fear and suspicon" caused by Mark from when Tom did BCR. Hell he even got asked if there was ever a chance of blink ever playing again for a charity gig would he and he said no cuz he'd do it with AVA just recently in an AP interview. So saying Tom wanted to try this out then go back to blink is a load bull sh*it. 2. He explains in the DVD what happen, about them arguing constantly on tour in europe, then he needed the break...they allowed it and though with the time off they would all cool down, but on the first day back together to do rehearsals everything that they argued about was brought back up and Tom couldnt believe (his words) that they had brought it back up again, he though it had all been said and they thought Tom wanted to control the band by recording at his house...again like i said he wont go back there cuz of the fear and suspicion. Watch the DVD if you dont believe me. Tom couldnt be further from being up his own arse and the sooner people realise the better, cuz to hold that against him and not like his music cuz of the is pathetic. (dont get me wrong i know there are people that just dont like n thats fine, am not saying every1 has to like it at all, cuz music is the only thing that cant explain itself and cant understand why or why you do or dont like something...it just is)
    spikeymikey
    really good DVD, interesting about the Blink breakup and the idea of AvA plus making WDNTW. Really worth getting if you are a big enough AvA fan.
    firsttoknow
    people hating on tom are ridiculous. i could understand if you dont like his music, but seriously, you dont know him, you dont know mark and travis either. and alot of people including me love AvA. and why would you judge someone over one stupid thing they said that didnt do any harm? so he hyped up his first new record while he was on drugs, big deal. he admits he shouldnt have, give the dude a break. none of you are perfect.
    Call to Arms 21
    This really was a good DVD. I have never seen a band DVD that was this good. Blink-182 was really amazing, but AVA a totally different deal. An Amazing deal at that. I was really impressed with the way Tom let the world know about his addiction to pain pills. I had no clue about it till I watched. Tom Delonge is an extremely talented musician and always will be. (Spelling is not my deal)
    HollyxJosie21
    Guys, stop. Blink's breaking up isn't one person's fault. All of them are responsible. They were best friends, for God's sake, and they didn't discuss it, they didn't communicate. They could've talked, they could have TRIED. But they didn't. So don't go on some Anti-Tom, Mark or Travis campaign, because they're all responsible. They all let every single blink-182 fan down. If you do not like Angels & Airwaves or you don't like +44, that's fine. Just don't single any of them out. If you're going to blame anyone, blame all three of them. Anyway, at least they're talking nowdays. But I still don't forgive them for splitting up.
    banshee8831
    some people so rude and selfish.if you leave tom delonge after he changed your lives with the songs he made then you are the best Damn FAn in the world.then tell me about dave mustaine.he left metallica and set up megadeth.now are people still hate him?hate from megaeth?no eventhough he left metallica they still love him.anyways this is like it.Tom's very regretful now so he wants the oldies come back. wish this becomes true and they reunite. and for the ones who don't like ava or tom please don'T type here never again.
    Santeria420
    Who does Tom DeLonge think he is, Roger Waters? blink-182 was whack, Tom leaves and adds an element of hack... eureka! A pretentious pop band if formed!
    poop182
    hahaha i went to the premier of this. Tom was drunk as usual...but it was a ****in great movie!
    GuitarJames
    I support +44 more than AVA. I don't like Tom as much because he quit Blink. I hope +44 are more successful. Nevertheless, great job Tom.
    nehpets5555
    GuitarJames, you should watch this, he explains why he left, and TBH, i like both +44 and AVA, and if i were Tom under those circumstances, i woulda done the same thing. Great doctumentary, really interestin
    -Mono--
    i really wanna see this, but i have no idea when its coming out in the UK... does anybody know?
    [x]Huffy[x]
    A new dvd by Messiah Tom and his Life Changing Music? OH JOY!! Good music, but Tom is much too far up his own arse.
    banshee8831
    if you watch the dvd then you can feel the pain inside tom delonge.he's so regretful he quit for his family but then this is it.nothing to do but i know that they will reunite.i believe this with my all heart...
    al182
    [x]Huffy[x] you're an idiot!! If you watched the DVD like the dude who gave the review then you'll see (like the dude who did the review) Tom is anything but up his own arse!! He's an awesome artist with some passion and more to give...your narrown opinion might well just change if you saw this, but i highly doubt it! Anyways, back to the DVD, am from England and i got it from loserkids in America, its all region DVD so will play on what ever and with the prive and postage the DVD came to about 12.50, so i wasnt too fussed in paying for that and i got mine on Monday...and its awesome, absolutley awesome. Iv stuck up for Tom throughout everything and am so gladwith the way its come out.
    punk_metal
    I loved Blink 182, and I am really into AVA atm. +44 I can't see to get into, as it seems they haven't musically matured enough, along with my tastes anyway like AVA have.
    Thienskater
    man, i've been looking all over the place for this dvd. It hasn't been released in Canada (July 15th), i was thinking of buying it off the Angels and Airwaves site but i don't want to pay 18 bucks for shipping, so i'll just have to wait.
    farfaraway
    Tom DeLonge Tom DeLonge Tom DeLonge Tom DeLonge Tom DeLonge Tom DeLonge Tom DeLonge Tom DeLonge Tom DeLonge What about the other band members?
    Ekoroski
    AvA Kicks so much ass. I can not wait for the I-Empire film, been dying to see it since i heard about it like a long time ago.
    Sanctus
    I find AVA pretty decent...actually like them a bit more than Blink 182. I'll probably check out the DVD when I can.
    red157
    Nielsen 33 wrote: Greatest Band Ever.
    When the UG fellow comes round and removes the inappropriate comments, that one should be removed. As it's stupid.
    pickSlidin
    first off, red157: Great, you dislike angels and airwaves. that's your personal opinion. why you are on a webpage reviewing an angels and airwaves DVD, i have no clue. but no one here cares for you're rude and ignorant comments. leave them to yourself. anyways, i think AvA is underrated. all i ever hear is BRING BACK BLINK yada yada yada. angels and airwaves is an excellent band with a very unique sound. i recommend angels and airwaves to everyone, no matter your musical tastes. blink was great, but thats the past and cant be changed. Let's just be happy that +44 and AvA are still around.
    GuitarGod4192
    Tom and AVA is the best thing to happen since blink. Amazing DVD. And if you really know alot about Tom, this actually gives you the chills while watching it. 5 stars.
    GuitarGod4192
    Nielsen 33 wrote: Greatest Band Ever.
    Zell182 wrote: Ava are awful. blink-182 ftw
    haha NO. Blink was ****ign amazing, as is AVA. If you don't like AVA, than why can't you shut your mouth?
    Wildcat31
    As much as I like AvA, I've seen them twice live, and they did not sound so great. Studio albums sound great though, especially while cruising down the freeway.