Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Monqui Presents

The Airborne Toxic Event

COVID Policy
7 pm doors, 8:30 pm show

$25 advance, $28 day of show

All ages welcome

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Show moved from June 28, 2020, and again from March 20, 2021.

The Airborne Toxic Event

The Airborne Toxic Event

Show moved from June 28, 2020, and again from March 20, 2021.

"When I write a song," says Mikel Jollett, co-founder and creative driver of the Californian five-piece The Airborne Toxic Event, "I'm trying to get down an emotion, a scene or a setting. Everything important that happens after that happens between the music and the listener; the rest of it is all mythology. The collective interpretation of it is way more important than what I think."

There's no reason to doubt the truth of that statement. Except that Jollett does do a lot of thinking (or over-thinking, as he himself would put it), and what he does, the way he spends his days, matters to him deeply. Besides, he's had a lot to think about in the two years since the band's 300,000 plus, UK Top 20 debut album ambushed and enraptured fans with its captivating blend of literate, visceral indie rock and propulsive, anthemic choruses. That self-titled album found Jollett addressing the break-up of a relationship with a candour that was sometimes uncomfortable but always compelling. Two years on, Jollett's priorities have shifted. On TATE's stunning new album, All At Once, he and the band have a new urgency, a tighter cohesion and a fearlessness that is thrilling. Mortality, loss, the battle between the comfort of complacency and the need for change, the issues - both personal and political - that continue to draw individuals and nations into conflict the world over: these are big subjects, but Jollett doesn't just dip his toe in the water. He dives right in.

"The album is basically a series of questions," he explains, "which it sets out to answer. And the biggest is, ‘How do I spend my time? How do I live my life?'." The death of three of Jollett's grandparents while he was absent owing to touring commitments was the catalyst for this self-examination. "The first [title] track is basically saying: okay, this is how it goes - you're born like this, you live like this; what are you going to do with that?". He is not, he says, disowning the sentiments he expressed and the heartache he addressed on the first record. It's more that, having been given such a sharp and painful reminder of the passing of time and the never-ending duality of life and death, he resolved to dig a little deeper than he had before, and look those conundrums straight in the eye. "My grandparents' deaths changed a lot of what I thought about what was going on in my life. Seen from a longer view, things like breaking up with a girlfriend, you do suddenly go, ‘Okay, that's part of life, kiddo'. It happens to people. And death, too; yes, it's tragic, but it's also just part of it. My father's mum was 97 and she died in her bed, in a house filled with people who loved her. All those questions the record asks - at the end, the only answer I could come up with was, ‘It's probably a good idea to love other people'."

Not every protagonist among the 11 new tracks is getting this message. Sequenced alongside one another, the album's two overtly and uncompromisingly political songs feature human beings either impervious to the fate of others, or caught up in arguments they have nothing to do with, but which make them victims nonetheless.

See next leaf...

The angry, rousing The Kids Are Ready to Die is, says Jollett, about the idea of "not being willing to die for a cause but sending someone else to do so; and how that disrespect for other people's lives is going to be visited back on you. That a lie can only exist as a lie for so long, and will eventually become known - which is a terrifying idea for governments, but for people, too." Welcome to Your Wedding Day, meanwhile, was inspired by the death in Afghanistan of a wedding party, mistakenly attacked by an American Predator drone. "I'm sure," Jollett continues, "that the people who dropped the bombs in error feel terrible about that. But the idea that you can win hearts and minds with something so horrific, dominate them with fear, is insane. How are you going to change anyone's mind if you kill people?"

Death doesn't stalk All At Once (it's ultimately too joyous a record for that), but it is a theme, an inevitability, that keeps asserting itself. "I think that moment when you realise you will one day is probably the most important day of your life," says Jollett. "You can react to that realisation by falling into nihilism or hedonism, or religion - which I think is just another form of hedonism, where people try to salve their wounds. Or you can decide to get on with it."

Jollett's upbringing - raised on a commune in California, the son of two hippie parents - ensured that he was never likely to find the mainstream and the humdrum a happy place to be. "My folks were really cool with us; there was a lot of love in the house. A lot of those accoutrements that come from growing up in a middle-class household, I don't feel burdened with. And that seems like a gift, a freedom to do whatever I want."

He looks back at his early attempts at being a novelist with wry amusement - though the habits Jollett formed then, of endlessly collecting information, squirreling thoughts and ideas away, tacking ideas to the wall, refining them, obsessing over them, have never left him. The very same obsessiveness and attention to detail characterised the genesis of All At Once. As did the restlessness that first drove Jollett to quit his office job and head into the desert to work on a ranch. "I just knew I had to get the fuck out of that fluorescent-lit, corporate horseshit," he laughs. "I made the decision that I would rather be homeless than do that anymore. I started reading constantly. I felt like I'd never really had an education, not a standard one anyway, so I'd be shovelling horse manure all day, and then at night I'd work on my novel - which was, to be honest, another form of shovelling horse manure."

Ask Jollett where the songs were at this point, and if, unbidden, they were forming inside him as he shovelled, and he pauses. His answer, when it eventually comes, is instructive, because it captures the often contradictory forces that compel him to write. On the one hand, he is refreshingly unstuffy about the whole process of making music; on the other, he takes what he does very seriously indeed. "I never messed about," he says, "trying to learn the riffs to classic songs. I wrote my first song the first day I learnt a chord. At the same time, I worshipped bands like The Cure and The Smiths. My friend Jake was like the mythical older brother, steering me towards things, you know, ‘Check out Josef K', or, ‘Try The Velvet Underground'. And it would blow your fucking mind. It made us feel very specifically how we wanted to feel, like these sophisticated outcasts. You know, ‘We too like to quote Oscar Wilde'."

The current US hit single, Changing, may be a good-time, old-school barroom rollick, but its lyrics delve deeper. "With the massive life changes we've gone through in the past couple of years, all five of us, there are suddenly all these people wanting you to do this or do that, be this way, be that way, and it screws with your head. So there's a little bit of like, ‘Can we please just do what we set out to do?'. I don't want us to be some precious little indie-rock band; but nor do I want to pretend I'm in some reverb-soaked fucking post-punk act where I have to act like I never smile and stay up late drinking absinthe in my attic, dripping candle wax on my skin." Jollett breaks off to laugh darkly. "I mean, I want to do music because I want to do music, right? We all do. Because we like to jump around and play songs."
See next leaf...

Musically, All At Once is a call to arms to anyone who loves music that is unashamedly wide-screen and prepared to lay its heart on the line. This is not an album that has gone through any focus-group editing or add-water diluting: it is raw, ragged, passionate. The chattering guitar and mournful organ that open the title track; the sparse, finger-picked, piano-pocked beauty of All For a Woman; the bizarre blend of electronica and accordion on Welcome to Your Wedding Day, and the menacing, insistent synthesizer on its chorus; the spiky, propulsive indie-rock of the Cure-referencing Strange Girl; the strings, sawing and swirling, on the epic, arguably TATE-defining All I Ever Wanted; the breakneck rockabilly of It Doesn't Mean A Thing; the ghostly piano on the closing The Graveyard Near the House: All At Once's soundscapes are both accessibly immediate and hauntingly complex. Lyrically, too, the album nails its concepts to the mast. Phrases leap out, lodge in your head: the bereaved, confused narrator of the title track, "swearing at the sky"; the reminder that all us will "leave the way you came - without anything" on It Doesn't Mean A Thing; Ready to Die's poignant, powerful "I was just 13 when I got my first taste of danger, standing by the church, I had a bottle and a pen in my hand"; Graveyard's epilogue, both forlorn and redemptive, as Jollett confesses, "I can list each crippling fear, like I'm reading from a will", and pictures a "dark and lonely plot under a bough".

Talking to Jollett, listening to All At Once, you sense that this is the record he was always meant to make. Loss inspired it, but writing and making it proved celebratory and revelatory. The unifying theme, Jollett says, was "the idea that life happens on many levels; that you don't really live inside of evolving events, but in the sort of quiet, moribund moments in between the massive moments of change. And that change happens suddenly and all at once - and that that is true on a personal level, on a cultural level, on a political level". These are big themes. On All At Once, Mikel Jollett, Stephen Chen, Noah Harmon, Anna Bulbrook and Daren Taylor look them squarely, fearlessly, in the eye, grapple with them, wrestle them to the floor. "We had this sense," Jollett concludes, "where we knew that people were going to hear this record, and we didn't have that with our first one. You sort of have this moment where the world is there and you have this opportunity to say something." The Airborne Toxic Event have taken that opportunity, and risen to that challenge. Now it's over to us.



The Crystal Ballroom

1332 W. Burnside
Portland OR 97209

(503) 225-0047
Contact us

Where On Any Night, Anything Can Happen!!

In these walls...

The historic Crystal Ballroom -- now over a century old -- is one of those rare concert halls that can point to a proud, diverse history while also laying claim to an ongoing musical legacy. Every time you enter this majestic ballroom, let your imagination sense the tremors resonating from a century's worth of gatherings, and realize that you are joining a thriving, generations-long procession of show-goers. Welcome!

Looking for your Crystal Ballroom Passport Stamps?

Crystal Ballroom, Lola’s Room & Crystal Brewery Tour occurs daily at 2 p.m. - meet at Ringlers Pub (street level below the Crystal Ballroom.) The tour takes about half an hour to complete. Any questions may be directed to the Crystal box office, 503-225-0047.

Stamps for the Crystal Ballroom and Lola’s Room are also available when you see a show – ticketed or free – in either venue.

Please note: Due to private events, concert setup needs and brewers’ schedules, not all spaces are guaranteed to be available to tour daily, but our staff will give it our best shot and show you the spaces that we can.

Tech Specs

Floor and stage plan
PDF download

Lighting diagram 
PDF download

Sound manifest
PDF download
Lola's Room: 
PDF download

Technical and logistical packet
For Crystal Ballroom & Lola's Room
PDF download

Ballroom height and beam-to-beam dimensions
16' 11" from beam to floor
19' 11" from floor to ceiling
14' 6" in between beams

Promoter Info

Rental Expenses To Outside Promoters

$365  PRODUCTION MANAGER ($54.75/hr OT)
$255  STAGE MANAGER ($38.32/hr OT)
$255  FOH TECHNICIAN ($38.32/hr OT)
$255  MONITOR ENGINEER ($38.32/hr OT)
$255  LIGHTING DIRECTOR ($38.32/hr OT)
$150  HOSPITALITY ($20/hr OT) [mileage is 33 cents per mile]
$1,000*  SECURITY ($100/hr OT)
$100  BOX OFFICE STAFF ($20/hr OT)
$ ----  CHAIR RENTAL ($2 per chair)
$ ----  BOX OFFICE CREDIT CARD FEE (3% of Box Credit Card Sales)

* Security cost is an estimate. Additional security may be required depending on the nature of the event. 

Overtime: All expenses incurred by the Crystal Ballroom for Catering, Advertising, requested stagehands, overtime (anything over 10 hours), backline, barricade, risers, etc. will be added to total rental rate.

Deposits: A non-refundable 50% room deposit and a $2,500 'untenured promoter fee' (UPF) is due immediately in order to secure the room. If ticket sales exceed 500 the 'UPF' will be refunded; if ticket sales are below 500 the room keeps the entire $2,500 to make up for less than 1/3 capacity and corresponding lack of sales. The 'UPF' will not be refunded if the event cancels within 60 days of the event.

Settlement: Venue will pay renter with a company check at the immediate conclusion of door sales. Venue will not provide any cash at settlement.

Late Night Fee: There is a $1,000/hour additional fee for any events after 3 a.m. We may also require additional security for events of that nature.

Merchandise: Merch rate is 20% they sell. We can provide a seller with advance notice and will keep 30% of sales. The outside promoter will receive no revenue from the merchandise as that is the prerogative of the house. House keeps a percentage of all transactions.

Tickets: All tickets must be placed through the venue onto the Cascade Tickets system. All comps, label buys, and holds must be approved by the venue. There is a $2/ticket venue fee at the Box Office.

Refunds: All refunds will be directed to the outside promoter. In the absence of an outside promoter representative, the venue shall use its own discretion regarding refunds and all refunds shall be deducted from settlement.

Insurance and Licenses: Renter must provide liability insurance not less than $1,000,000 for any single occurrence naming McMenamins Inc. d.b.a. Crystal Ballroom as additionally insured. Tickets will not be placed on sale until binder is received. Promoter is responsible for all ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC fees.

Production Advance: Performers or their representative must contact venue's production manager 5 days prior to the event in order to advance production needs, otherwise runner will arrive at 6 p.m. and all rider items/requests will be greatly limited if provided at all.

Layout: The Crystal Ballroom is located on the 3rd floor. The first floor is Ringlers Restaurant and the 2nd floor is Lola's Room, both of which may have a public or private event simultaneously with the Crystal.

Cancellation/Postponement: The contract covers the specified event for the specified date. No substitution will be accepted for a cancellation. If the event is postponed the room deposit will be transferred to the date of the new event but the $2,500 'UPF' will be applied toward the date of the originally scheduled show and an additional $2,500 will be required in order to reschedule.

Capacity: The venue's capacity is 1500*. All artist and promoter guests and comps will be deducted from sellable. Comp and guest space must be reserved in advance. House is entitled to 20 guests. House guests will not effect sellable. Promoter must have guest list to house no later than 2 hours prior to doors. VIP cap is 25.

* Seated capacity is 850. Seated shows must be 21 and over. There is a $2/chair rental fee.

Venue and corporate sponsor banners may be present during event.

Marketing your event at the Crystal Ballroom

Please contact Mike Walker for information about marketing your event through McMenamins resources.

Box Office

Please note! Both the Crystal Ballroom and Lola's Room specialize in open-floor shows with a very limited amount of seats. The rare seated events will be clearly denoted as such, within the event description on our schedule page.

Box Office Information

Tickets for all McMenamins shows are ticketed by Cascade Tickets, and may be purchased at the Crystal box office (located under the Crystal's awning) and McMenamins Edgefield, by phone at 1-855-CAS-TIXX, or by clicking the "Buy Tickets" link located at the event listing on our schedules.

Tickets bought directly at the Crystal box office or any of our four ticket outlets will only incur a $1 facility charge. (Please note! Tickets to Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn will incur additional service fees.)

Crystal Ballroom Box Office Hours 
Daily, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The box office is open later on nights when there is a performance.

The box office accepts cash, VISA, MasterCard, American Express and DiscoverCard.

Will Call

Will call is located at the box office.


All ticket purchases are non-refundable.


There are three pay lots nearby, and street parking is available.


Those with disabilities may call (503 225 0047) or email in advance to arrange early admittance.

There is an elevator located in the lobby.

Hold your Private Event at Crystal Ballroom

Weddings  Meetings  Social Events

The Crystal Ballroom is a truly awe-inspiring venue with its vaulted ceilings, grand chandeliers, giant wallscapes and famous "floating" dance floor. Accommodating groups from 100 to 1000 people, this 7,500-square-foot space includes access to the Ballroom's classic corner stage, floor-to-ceiling windows, swooping balcony, and full bar service.

Tucked in the Crystal’s second story is Lola’s Room accommodating events of up to 200 guests.  Lola’s comes with a handsome fully stocked bar, original artwork, and a floating dance floor all it’s own.

For overnight accommodations, our Crystal Hotel is just a block away!

Contact our sales team to inquire or book your event.
Get Started Here


Artwork plays an important role in the character of McMenamins locations throughout Oregon and Washington. We believe art makes life richer and more enjoyable. So, you'll often find paintings covering our walls, ceilings doors, overhead pipes, and equipment -- works as diverse and entertaining as our places for family and friends. Many artists have contributed to this vast variety of delightful eye candy. Jump in and enjoy some now!




Explore the Crystal Blocks

Our Crystal Hotel and legendary Crystal Ballroom are just across the street from each other, each offering their own unique spaces for live music, Northwest style fare and McMenamins hand crafted beverages.  Explore these properties and all they have to offer. 

*Get 15% off room rates at Crystal Hotel, Sunday through Thursday with a ticket purchase. (Must mention at time of booking, must verify ticket at check in for discount) *restrictions apply. 

Crystal Ballroom Property

Crystal Ballroom  Lola's Room  Ringlers Pub  Crystal Brewery

Crystal Hotel Property

Crystal Hotel  Al's Den  Ringlers Annex  Zeus Cafe

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