AWOLNATION Concert at The Wiltern

AWOLNATION played the final concert of the first tour backing their latest release, Here Come The Runts, at The Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles Friday night. The crowd showed just as much enthusiasm for new songs as for tracks off previous albums. So much enthusiasm that at times you could feel the balcony bouncing up and down (I won't even try to pretend this didn't scare me).

I've got a soft spot in my heart for AWOL. Most reasons are romantic and nostalgic, but one is actually about anxiety. I read in an interview years ago (at the pinnacle of dealing with my own anxiety) that AWOL's founder, Aaron Bruno, experiences social anxiety which led to struggling to release his music and later perform live. The first time I saw AWOLNATION was at Center of the Universe Festival in Tulsa in 2014. During the set, Bruno was reserved and stayed in the dark, literally dodging shafts of light. I can't know for sure, but I always wondered if this was him dealing with his anxiety. If that's the case, Bruno has come a long way because he was the total opposite on stage last night. And that's pretty freaking cool to see.

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