A flash grenade of red stage light explodes across the audience halting the restless pre show chatter on this restless Sunday night. As the stars fade from vision a united noise erupts from the Commodore Ballroom’s spectators as the image of Hunter Bargan stanced opposite Jade Puget comes into view, behind Adam Carson descends into his drum kit beating a new pulse for our collective hearts to share.
An already enthusiastic crowd losses it as Davey Havok leaps into position center stage bedazzled in a suit reminiscent of glam rock, raising a glittering arm Havok cuts the air above him with a fierce punch skyward, the show has definitely just started. Crash Love tattooed to Carson’s drums is the title of their recent 2009 album that features their 2009 single Medicate, so it was appropriate this was our first song delivered to us in classic AFI fury that Sunday night.
A ballet of experienced antics broke out as Puget and Bargan spread across the stage at staggering speed feeding the energy to unleash the seasoned voice contained within Havok. With no time needed to reach full potential AFI stormed through Medicate fluidly into Girl’s Not Grey then Leaving Song Pt. 2.
That was the game plan, AFI had come armed to the teeth in talent to entertain us with not just recent exploits but rather a sample of everything they released. It has always been my awe that AFI’s sound transcends album and live never ceasing to impress via headphones or speakers of a outdoor or indoor venue. As proof Havok dedicates the next song to his lungs, then lunges into a screaming fit, a lyrical barrage of melody and rage by the title of Kill Caustic. Off their 2006 December Underground, the song is something to witness with your own eyes.
For all the slack they’ve gotten over recent years for a softer approach to their once punk worthy roots AFI staggers the non believers with garage day ferocity transforming the ballroom into a air punching lyric chanting mosh pit while still petting our heads with rock ballads that appear on everyone’s MP3 player in the fall season. Their ability to traverse their discography with very little effort and sometimes a little guitar tuning has made every concert of theirs special, giving back to the fans a chance to get a listen to songs other cities won’t get to hear. This time was no
different, with elegance from all members Ever And A Day, off their 2000 album Art of Drowning, is revisited with exceptional clarity as their oldest song of the night.
With no disappointments the show rained 14 songs of pure liquid awesome finishing with a sing along to Miss Murder which only raised excited chants to resume their position and finish what they started. And like any good band AFI re appeared to wash our sweaty minds with three more rock ballads to keep us warm well into the night that was ahead of us as we dispersed memorized by yet another fantastic AFI performance.
January 24, 2010
By Chris Turner