Inhaler Concert Review


Photo of the band Inhaler at First Ave on March 25. Photo courtesy of Lewis Evans.

Jizelle Villegas, Contributing Writer

On March 25, I saw Inhaler live at First Avenue. They are an Irish rock band consisting of Elijah Hewson, Robert (Bobby) Keating, Josh Jenkison and Ryan McMahon. They had an opener, Sun Room, which is a San Diego-based band. 

The wall behind the stage had an “Inhaler” decal in white bubble letters, which was a cool design. The concert started promptly at 7:00 p.m. with Sun Room. A lot of their songs were about the sun and California, which was totally their brand as Californian artists. The people in the crowd screamed with joy once the riff of the lead singer and guitarist, Luke Asgain, started. They would jump around and you could tell a lot of the girls were enjoying themselves while Sun Room was performing. Their set lasted for thirty minutes and included songs such as “Sunset Garage,” “Crashed My Bike” and “Summer’s Here.”

Right at 8:00 p.m, the lights started to dim and we knew Inhaler was going to walk on stage any second. Yelling emerged from the crowd (and from myself as well). I was so ready to see them and hear the album that I had been anticipating, Cuts and Bruises, for months now. 

They started off with their older songs and then shifted to some songs off the new album, so it was a good balance between old and new songs. I am a new fan and was looking forward to hearing the majority of the songs off Cuts and Bruises live, so it was a bit surprising that half of the songs they played were ones they had released a few years ago. On the other setlists I had seen, they had performed “The Things I Do,” which is my absolute favorite song, but this time they didn’t perform it. I thought they were going to play it during their encore, but they sadly didn’t. 

Though my favorite song of theirs wasn’t performed, I had a fun time because their stage presence was incredible and the lighting really aligned with the moods of their songs. They had rainbow lighting, bright white lighting that enhanced their figures when performing intense songs and green lighting which created a stark hue of their silhouettes, which I really loved seeing. 

My favorite moment of the night was probably when during their performance of “Valentine,” multiple hands near us raised green paper hearts and kept them up during the whole song. It was a really sweet gesture and Hewson started interacting with the crowd and talking to us. He asked “Who put this together?” and then thanked the crowd. 

Inhaler has been seeing a trend of fans making cowboy hats for them at each show, which started during their Texas tour dates. In Minneapolis, someone created a green cowboy hat with gold three-leaf clovers around the rim with the words “WHO THE FECK ARE INHALER!” On top of the hat, there was a small leprechaun hat that had printed out pictures of leprechaun bodies with attached faces of each of the band members. Keating received it from the crowd and started posing with it. From the place and angle I was standing at, I could see that Hewson and Keating were making frequent eye contact with the people in the front.

They had a lot of energy and charisma on stage, and I was jumping and singing along to their songs, just like everyone else. They put on a good show, and the crowd was filled with energy and excitement. Most of their songs are about love and I sure did love to experience Inhaler’s music live.