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Critics' Choice
INHALER ROCKS THE ROXY
11/15/19

By Jon Pikus

Polydor U.K. rockers Inhaler arrived at The Roxy 11/14, and delivered an inspired set of guitar-driven jams. The young band is fronted by singer/guitarist Elijah Hewson, who happens to be the son of Bono, singer of U2.

The Dublin-based band is on Interscope here in the States, and their team was out in force to support the new addition to their roster. Spotted in attendance were Interscope chairman and CEO John Janick, Interscope SVP Head of Pop/Rock Marketing Matt LaMotte, a very-pregnant Spotify Head of Rock Allison Hagendorf, ubiquitous Sirius XM DJ/VJ Matt PinfieldWME agents Marc Geiger and Kirk SommerWe Are Hear's Nanci Walker, Bright Antenna RecordsBraden Merrick, and Elijah's sister actress Eve Hewson along with a gaggle of her supermodel friends. 

The show started with ace barn-burner "It Won't Always Be Like This," progressed mid-set to current single "Ice Cream Sundae," and crescendoed with standout sing-along "My Honest Face." There was a sense at times that the young lads were still feeling their way through the audience and media attention that comes with being the offspring of a superstar, in this case one who definitely lives up to the hype. But the potential for arena-sized greatness was palpable and very evident. Hewson was an affable frontman, engaging in good-natured banter between songs and, most importantly, he can sing and play his arse off. There were even shades of U2's Boy-October era in some of the introspective jams and breakdowns, reminiscent of stripped-down instrumental interludes off those early U2 albums.

We also thought we noticed Billy Corgan and Steve Jones in the crowd grooving to the beat, but we might have been hallucinating due to inhaling fumes from the historic velvet stage curtains, which have seen their share of face-melting guitar rock over the years. 

Photo: Jon Pikus