I’ve been looking forward to seeing AFI all day, they’ve been on the list of bands to see for some time and whilst I wasn’t overly enamoured with ‘Decemberist Underground’ their back catalogue up to that point is packed full of classic punk anthems.
They get a huge reaction from a big crowd as they take the stage and this only gets louder as they go straight into the excellent ‘Girls Not Grey’ and ‘Leaving Song Pt2’ from 2003’s ‘Sing the Sorrow’. Singer Davy Havoc is all over the stage and as the rest of the band cover every inch of the stage you certainly can’t fault them for effort. Frustratingly the sound mix isn’t that great and Havoc’s vocals are way too quiet in the verse, similarly it’s hard to pick out Jade Puget’s guitar solo’s. That aside however it’s a thoroughly engaging and enjoyable performance from a band that were in danger of leaning a little too far into the mainstream.
They don’t dip too heavily into the hardcore punk years but we do get ‘Love is a Many Splendored Thing’ from the early 90s and probably the fastest song of later years in the brilliant ‘Dancing Through Sunday’ that is only lacking due to the volume of the solo. New single ‘Medicate’ gets a healthy reaction before the mass sing along of ‘Miss Murder’ takes the roof off. Havoc’s performance is a little too theatrical and pained at times but overall he makes for a fine frontman and it’s going to be some show when they take Gallows out on tour in the US later this year. Following them tonight was a tall order but they pulled it of with ease and AFI give one of the most enjoyable performances of the weekend.